Exploring the outdoors is a wholesome activity for the entire family (including the dog) to enjoy. Hiking provides physical exercise, reduces stress, and boosts creativity.
Find the Right Trail
Before heading out, do your research. Find the right hiking trail for you and your family to safely enjoy. Trails generally run from easy to extremely difficult with numerous obstacles. Finding the best one for your family requires research. If you are uncertain about where to start, set out on an easy trail than work your way through the rest.
What to Pack
If you are just beginning, day trips are the best. Heading out on the trail for a day gives your family a chance to familiarize themselves with the trails and the equipment.
Do you need ideas for the basics for backpacking essentials for day trips?
Backpack: Use a high-quality backpack to protect your basic hiking necessities. Even younger children can carry a lightweight backpack.
Water: Staying hydrated is critical when hiking.
Food: Pack plenty of food to get you through your hiking trip. Small children may require frequent stops with extra snacks. Pack to meet each family members’ needs.
First Aid: Bringing a first aid kit is essential for handling minor scrapes and cuts on the trail.
Compass: Do not always rely on your cell phone. If your battery goes dead, you may need an alternative navigation device.
Hand Sanitizer: Use to clean your hands before eating.
Mask: Once you are on the open trail away from people, you will not need a mask. However, certain areas of the park may require a face covering. Be respectful of others. Pack a mask to follow any restrictions.
Extra Socks and Hiking Shoes: If you accidentally get your feet wet, having additional foot attire is a priority, especially with children. You want to make hiking a positive experience.
Before You Hit the Trail
Before heading to your destination, check the weather forecast. Dress in weather-appropriate clothing. Remember, clothing layers are the best option for being outdoors. If you are uncertain what to wear, add an extra layer. If the weather is too warm, a sweatshirt is easy to remove.
Hiking is not a race to get through the trails as fast as possible. Take your time with your family. Pause to view numerous scenic areas or enjoy nature.
Ask your children open-ended questions or make up stories. Being outdoors increases creativity. Encourage conversation among your family about the experience. Bring your camera or use your cell phone to take lots of photos to create a memory book. Wildlife and nature discoveries can lead to a lifetime love of the outdoors.
With school fast approaching, either virtual or in-session, daily homework, work, and other commitments will quickly fill your schedule. Did you know August is Family Fun Month? Celebrating the small moments is essential for you and your family. One way to celebrate Family Fun Month is hosting Sunday dinners.
Hosting Sunday Dinners
Keep in mind, when you start planning, there is no right or wrong way to host a Sunday dinner for Family Fun Month. If you need a little inspiration, check out the following ideas.
Traditional Meal: Cook a full course meal. For example, turkey or ham with baked potatoes, vegetables, a side salad, and apple pie is a great traditional dinner.
BBQ: With the weather being beautiful, starting up the barbecue grill is a wonderful way to celebrate Family Fun Month.
Picnic: Make sandwiches, snacks, and other treats and go on a picnic. Get outdoors. Numerous state and local parks have picnic areas. Or pack a blanket, sit on the ground, and enjoy your meal under the open sky.
Try Something New: Use Sunday dinners as a way to explore new cultures. Research recipes from different cultures around the world. Pinterest is a great resource. Try something new. Who knows, the new recipe may quickly turn into a family favorite.
Cook Together: Even a simple meal can turn into a learning experience. Cook together as a family. Share stories and enjoy them.
Order Take Out: If you don’t feel like cooking, order take out. Yes, when you are all together, pizza counts as a family meal.
Family Fun Month is a great time to celebrate with Sunday dinners. Enjoy your time with your family. Small celebrations quickly turn into long-lasting memories for you and your family.
Today, July 31st, 2020, is J. K. Rowling’s character, Harry Potter’s 40th birthday. If you do not know by now, J.K. Rowling’s birthday is also today. So, here is wishing a Happy 40th Birthday to Harry Potter, “the boy who lived” and the author who brought magic alive for millions of fans.
Why celebrate? Well, the real question is, “why not celebrate.” Stay at home orders, social distancing, and other restrictions lead to canceled plans for you, your friends, or your family. Finding little things to celebrate is a great way to make memories during this current health crisis.
Ways to Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday
Are you looking for simple ways to celebrate? Well, binge-watching the Harry Potter series is one of the best ways to celebrate. For extra fun, make popcorn, order pizza, or host a watch party online.
Other ways to celebrate include:
Read: The new illustrated editions draw you right into the Wizarding World.
Join a Group: Social media hosts numerous groups, including Adult Fans of Harry Potter. Connecting with other Harry Potter fans is a beautiful way to chat about the growing fandom.
Subscribe:GeekGear and other monthly subscription boxes brings your love of the Wizarding World right to your doorstep.
Listen to a Podcast: Finding a new podcast or listening to an old favorite provides insight into the world of Harry Potter.
Do Crafts: Let your creativity shine.
Make Food: Pinterest has thousands of recipes relating to the Wizarding World. Maybe you can discover your inner chef.
Host a Zoom Session: Invite friends to chat with you about Harry Potter.
Write Fan Fiction: Put your pen to paper or start typing to write a story about the Wizarding World, Hogwarts, or the characters in the books.
Join a Cause: The Harry Potter Alliance advocates different worthy causes. Learn different ways to transform your love for Harry Potter to real life situations.
Celebrate July 31st; small occasions can quickly turn into lasting memories for you and your family. For millions of fans, the day is just the beginning of Harry Potter’s magical tale.
Are you celebrating Christmas in July? Do you need more easy crafts to keep kids busy? When staying close to home, being creative is an excellent way to pass the time. Consider making homemade wrapping paper to use later during the Christmas season. The handmade gift wrap is an easy project for all ages.
Butcher paper, newsprint, or other types of packing paper
Containers for paint
Cut sponges into various shapes, for example, Christmas trees, gift boxes, stars, and ornaments. (Help younger children cut the sponges into shapes.)
Spread your choice of paper on a flat surface.
Squirt small amounts of paint in your container.
Dip your cut sponge into the paint.
Make sure the paint covers the entire sponge for a precise shape.
Press sponge on to the paper. When you are finished, simply rinse the sponges of the entire paint residue. You can use the sponges more than once.
Continue the process until you reach your desired design.
Allow the paint shapes to dry.
Use markers to add outlines, Christmas songs, Bible verses, names, or other designs to your gift wrap.
Now, wrap your Christmas gifts and enjoy your finalized product.
Homemade gift wrap is an excellent way to provide a personalized touch to your presents. Use your imagination to create numerous sheets of wrapping paper. You can always set the mood by playing Christmas music.
Are you looking to start journal writing? Or perhaps you are just looking for some inspiration to continue your daily writing? Keeping a journal is a beautiful way to get your thoughts and memories down on paper. Check out the following list of prompts for July.
How did June go for you? What was your best moment? Add lots of details.
What do you hope to accomplish for the second half of 2020? Be specific on your goals.
How did you and your family celebrate the 4th of July? What is your best memory of the holiday from your childhood?
Happy Independence Day, USA! Did you celebrate today? What did you do?
What does freedom mean to you?
What are your biggest fears with the coronavirus? Are you still social distancing? Are you wearing a mask in public places?
What has the coronavirus taught you?
Make a current gratitude list of at least 10 things that make you feel grateful.
Mid-Week Smiles! What made you happy today? What made you smile?
At this particular time in your life, what do you feel are your best traits? Why?
Take a moment to think about a time in your life that was a significant transition. What was it? How did you handle the situation? What did you learn from the experience?
In your opinion, what is the best or favorite part of summer? Go into details.
Free write for 15 minutes.
Is there a hobby or other activity from your childhood that you would like to try again? What is stopping you? Why was this activity important to you?
Who is your inspiration? Why does this one person mean so much to you? Has your role model changed over the years?
Name a person who you trust above anyone else in your life? Why do you trust this person?
If you change your community, state, region, or even the world, what would you do? Now, write one thing that you can do to help promote this goal.
Write about a summer job from your teen or young adulthood. What did you learn from the experience? What did you like and dislike about the job?
What would you do if you won the lotto jackpot?
Describe your entire day in great detail.
What makes you feel stressed or overwhelmed?
If you could walk out your door into a fictional world or a different timeline, where would you go? Why?
Did you have a favorite book, comic book, television series, or movie as a child? Why was this particular media so important to you?
Is there someone from your past that you need to forgive? Write that particular person a letter. No, you do not have to send it. Getting your feelings out on paper is a great letting go experience.
Where would you like to be in five years in terms of finances, housing, family, or any other large scale changes? How do you plan to accomplish your goals?
What was the scariest or dangerous moment in your life so far? What was the situation? Describe your experience.
Is summer your favorite season? Why? If not, what is your favorite season?
Write about your favorite summer vacation as a child? What was the best part?
Describe your perfect summer day.
Where is one place you want (or already went) to this summer? Why was this place a “must-see” for this summer?
What are you or your family looking forward to in August?
Bonus: What is your favorite summer outdoor activity? Why?
Journal writing is an excellent way to explore your personal feelings. Write about the world around you, the news, or past experiences. Do you need inspiration? Check out the following prompts for June.
How was May for you? What was your most significant achievement? Were you still under the stay at home orders from the pandemic? How are you and your family handling the restrictions?
What are you looking forward to the most in June?
List 5 things that bring you joy daily.
Pick a news topic from today’s headline or news channel. How did the headline make you feel? Does the news affect you or your family?
Write about your day from the point of view of your dog or cat? If you do not have a pet, use a stuffed animal for inspiration.
What is your favorite color? Do you know why that color is your favorite?
How was your day? Did everything go as planned? Was your day happy or stressful? Write about your day in great detail.
Write about your favorite place. Why is this place so special to you?
Write about someone you miss. Why is/was this person so important to you?
Describe your dream kitchen, home, or outdoor living space?
If you ever won a million dollars, what would you do?
What is one place you would like to visit? Imagine yourself there. Write about how you would like to experience your dream destination.
Write about the first book you remember reading from your childhood. Why does that book stick out the most?
Today is Flag Day in the USA. Write about your feelings about your country. (If outside the US, do the same thing). Describe the best aspects of your country.
If you could step into any movie or book, where would you go? Why?
What was the most exciting part of your day?
Free write for 15minutes.
What is your favorite season? Why do you like this season over the others?
Describe your favorite childhood memory about summer?
Today is the first official day of summer. How is your summer going to be different for you and your family? Do you still plan to travel or stay close to home?
Happy Father’s Day! (US) Did you do something to celebrate the father figures in your life today? What did you do?
Write about your favorite childhood memory about your dad or other father figures in your life.
Did you have a family dinner today? Or do another activity as a family? Write about your day in detail. Yes, your dog counts as your family.
Write about your religious views. What do you believe? Do you think your beliefs are different than other members of your family?
Happy Friday! Do you have any weekend plans? Write down 5 things you hope to accomplish this weekend.
Write about your favorite childhood meal. Do you still eat the food? Is the food still your favorite? Why or why not?
If you could go to space, would you go? Why?
Look out your window right now, what do you see? Describe the scene with great detail.
What July activity are you looking forward to participating in? Why is this event important to you?
Are you staying home with your family on New Year’s Eve? Use the evening for quality time, host a family night. An impromptu family fun night will turn your New Year’s Eve into a lasting memory.
Ideas for Your New Year’s Eve Family Night
Not only does this New Year’s Eve ring in a new year, but it also brings a new decade. Celebrating with your family is a perfect way to usher in the new year.
Party food is essential but does not need to be elaborate.
Pizza: Order pizza. Or make homemade pizzas to fit everyone’s exact tastes.
Finger Food: Make finger sandwiches. Even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into fours is an excellent treat for New Year’s Eve.
Sweets: Bake cookies or brownies.
Celebration Cake: Make a 2020 cake. The cake does not need to be fancy. A simple cake with white frosting and 2020 in writing does the trick.
Ice Cream: Create a sundae bar. A gallon of ice cream, different toppings, and whipped cream make a simple sundae bar for the entire family to enjoy.
Serve different family drinks for the evening activities. Of course, water should always be on the menu. But consider sparkling cider or punch for a midnight toast. Homemade hot cocoa is another delicious idea to add to the celebration.
Plan different activities leading up to midnight.
Games: Play board or card games. Sitting together and talking is great for quality family time.
Do Crafts: Make paper crowns or hats for the New Year’s Eve celebration. Create themed decorations or art.
Movies: Binge-watch your favorite movie or series until midnight.
Scavenger Hunt: Hide clues throughout your home to lead to a final treasure.
The best part about spending New Year’s Eve at home is making lasting memories.
Photo Booth: Create a photo area. Use a blanket, sheet, shower curtain, or large piece of material for a backdrop. Place different props out. The accessories can be homemade. Make a point to take pictures every hour leading up to midnight.
Time Capsule: Create a time capsule. Ask your family or friends questions. For example, what do you want to do when you grow up? The question is simple. But when opening the time capsule, you may find the answer amusing or inspiring.
Make Memory Cards: Index cards work well for this type of activity. Ask each of your family members to write out favorite moments in 2019. You may need to help younger children. Encourage drawing. Each card is a perfect addition to a scrapbook or photo album.
Regardless of how you celebrate, enjoy the evening with your family. You only get to ring in 2020 once in your lifetime.
Leaves are changing, cooler weather is setting in, and Halloween is just around the corner. October is the perfect month of photos. Do you need some help on what to take? Try this list of 31 photo prompts for October.
Keeping a journal is a wonderful way to record memories, express ideas, and release emotions. A journal does not need to be fancy. A simple spiral notebook is just as good as a leatherbound journal. Writing is the most important aspect of keeping a journal.
31 Journal Writing Prompts for August
What are your personal or family goals for August?
Name 10 things you want to accomplish before summer ends.
Describe a funny moment from today. Did someone tell a joke? Or did your toddler do something that made you laugh? Write why the moment was funny to you.
Today is Friendship Day. Write about your best friend in elementary, junior high, and high school? Did you have the same friend all the way through your school years?
Write about your grandparents or older family member. What was their occupation? Where did they live?
Create an August Bucket List for last-minute fun before school begins.
How did you spend your day? Go into detail.
What do you need to accomplish to get your children ready for the new school year?
Are you healthy? What habits do you need to change in your routine to make healthier choices?
What was your favorite Saturday activity as a child?
Write a letter to your future self.
Write a letter to your past self.
List 5 long term goals.
Write a review of your favorite restaurant.
Describe your childhood bedroom. What posters did you hang on the wall in highschool?
If you won the lottery, how would you spend the money?
What is your favorite show on television? Why do you like the program?
What was your favorite show during childhood?
What are 10 things you could do to help the environment?
What would be your ideal vacation or getaway to end the summer?
What is your current pet peeve?
What is your guilty pleasure?
What makes you feel peaceful?
Name a person you miss. Why?
What family activity would you like to try? Why?
Today is National Dog Day. Describe your favorite dog or other pet.
List 5 things you are grateful for at this point in your life.
Describe yourself in ten sentences.
Describe in detail an item or recipe you made.
If you could visit a fictional world, where would go?
Write a memoir or letter saying goodbye to summer.
Keep in mind, there’s no right or wrong answer when writing in a journal. The experience is a personal pursuit. Always, remember to have fun when you write.