July seems like the longest month of summer holidays because it’s between June and August. The excitement of summer holidays has worn off and it’s still two whole months until September. The days are long with lots of time to fill up between morning and evening. If your kids are looking for new things to do and learn, this short list might be helpful.
Watch a sunrise
At sunrise, the quiet of the night succumbs to the sounds of nature waking up. Birds are tweeting, roosters are crowing, and some people are already going to work. There are a lot of things to see and hear at sunrise. Many people say they experience a feeling of transcendence when they see a sunrise. Photographers refer to the hour before sunrise and after sunset as golden hour or magic hour. This is when the light is balanced, and it creates a diffused effect for great photographs.
Learn some yoga from Youtube
Yoga is very easy for kids to learn by watching it on YouTube. Yoga is a series of movements and breathing exercises that can produce a feeling a calm with very little practice. The objective is to complete a series of postures with control and precision. The ‘Asanas’, as they are called, have fun names like Downward Dog, Reclining Hero, and Inverted Staff. Before long, your kids may become little yogis and enjoy lifelong benefits from this ancient practice.
Plant a salad patch
Many different vegetable plants can be started in July from seed and be ready to eat before the end of the summer. A small patch of one meter by two meters can provide several weeks of fresh and organic salads for your family. For children, there is nothing more delightful than watching a seed burst through the surface of the soil and begin reaching for sunlight. Try several varieties of lettuce, some radishes, leaks, and beans. You’ll be able to begin harvesting by September, depending on the varieties chosen.
Make real iced tea
There are two kinds of iced tea that are easy for kids to help make: cold brew and sun tea. Cold brew is made simply by putting a teabag or two in a pitcher, add fresh water, and allowing it to steep in the fridge overnight. Sun tea is made by putting tea bags into a sealable container, such as a two litre pop bottle or old milk jug, and allowing it to sit in the sun all day. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to make it taste a little brighter and more refreshing. Sugar isn’t always necessary if you’re making a mint or green tea. For black tea, add Sucralose instead of sugar for a healthy drink any time of the day. Keep in mind that real iced tea contains more caffeine than powdered varieties, so you may want to consider using decaffeinated tea leaves.
Learn to use a yo-yo
Yo-yos have been around for about 2500 years, dating from ancient Greece. Other than the basic loop (up and down), there are a number of tricks that vary in complexity. Kids aged eight and older will enjoy learning stunts like The Sleeper, Walk the Dog, and Loop the Loop. Costing only a few dollars, a yo-yo will last all summer and provide hours of fun. Buy a few extra strings to keep the fun going.
If your kids are old enough to stay up late, they might enjoy a family stargazing adventure in the backyard or in a local park. Start by finding a printable constellation guide online. Before dusk, have a quick lesson on what to look for. Finding the constellations is a little bit like connecting the dots. Look for the North Star and the Big Dipper as a reference point. They’re the easiest to see because the North Star is the brightest in the sky and forms the handle of what looks like a pot or dipper. Be sure to have a blanket or two and a flashlight with some red paper or plastic over the LEDs so you can refer to the star map without affecting your night vision.
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