The end of summer is nearing. Soon we will leave behind outdoor dining, the squeals of children playing in the pool and the feeling of freedom we enjoy just like when we were kids enjoying everything summer had to throw at us. Firefly nights will soon fade into crisp campfire nights and green will give way to the vibrant leaf party of autumn.
As we head into the next season, take time to hang onto summer and its childlike freedom just a bit longer. Who said we have to grow up? I double-dog-dare you to feel like a kid once again as you enjoy these 10 ideas to inspire some kid-like behavior and fun.
Swing on a Rope Swing
Any sturdy branch hanging over a creek or pond is a suitable candidate for a strong rope and hours of fun. Ropes were made for swinging and creeks are for splashing. Channel your inner Tom Sawyer. Hold tight to your rope and find yourself leaving every daily care on the river bank as you sail over the water. End your journey with a splash and a burst of laughter.
Sleep Under the Stars
A blanket of constellations covers you as you drift off gazing at the universe. No tent required; an air mattress, hammock or mat upon the ground will work fine. The night is alive with the sound of frogs and crickets. They lull you to sleep with their creaking and croaking lullaby. If you are lucky, a shooting star may zip by to tell you good night.
Play in a Puddle
Puddles are gifts that the rain leaves behind. They are bodies of water that we were drawn to like magnets as children. Being a few, or more, years older should make no difference. Take off your shoes and walk, dance, and splash in the largest puddle you can find. Sometimes pleasure comes in the form of childlike frivolity. Cloudy days no longer need to be viewed as dreary. Instead, they are reminders that when life seems a bit gray, play in a puddle.
Hail the Ice Cream Truck
Ice cream is a necessity of life, a pleasure that has few rivals. Ice cream obtained from a festive truck piping music into the air is even better. Beginning in childhood, we learn to identify that specific music. Once identified, make a mad rush out the door, money in hand, target in sight. Arms waving, leaping over children, arrive at your goal. Your goal is a truck with pictures of every yummy frozen dessert possible. Choose one for now and even one for later. There’s no legal limit. As you head back home, let the melting sweetness drip down your chin. Yummy pleasure.
With a splurge of a whopping fifty cents, you can have all the entertainment you need on a warm summer day. Unscrew the lid, pull the wand out of its soapy contents, purse your lips, and blow. Iridescent globes of soap float on the breeze, and your mood lifts on the wind with the bubbles. The wind takes them higher and higher and your hopes and aspirations rise and dance among the suds. Blow slowly and create giant bubbles or wave the wand quickly through the air and release a party of foam all about you. You are once again a child, and you have no problem with that.
Go to a Drive-in Theatre
A massive white movie screen set against a summer night sky is the main event. Carloads of happy families pile in and surround the screen, ready for the show. A trip to the concession stand is a must. Squealing children romp on the playground equipment while parents carry armloads of food back to their cars. The movie starts and everyone finds a spot, for the show is about to begin. Sit in or out of the car. Drive in theatres are disappearing and will someday only be a memory from days gone by. So, watch the latest blockbuster now while you can with those you love.
Walk Barefoot in the Grass
Your tootsies will love you. Slip off those shoes and let your feet feel free and pampered as the cool blades tickle your toes. Strolling barefoot through the grass sends the message to your brain that you have been set free. The sensation of naked feet is liberating. That liberation can transfer from your feet to your thought processes. Worries will dissipate, agitations will disperse, and your toes will thank you.
Climb a Tree
“One that would have the fruit must climb the tree,” Thomas Fuller
There are trees that are begging to be climbed. Low branches dip down, shouting, “Here I am, a foothold.” We must oblige them. Reaching the top is not your goal. You are free to perch on the lowest branches. However high you can shimmy is the perfect height to survey the world beneath you. This new vantage point may transform your perspective on things below and your thoughts inside. A tree is an opportunity for you to find the child inside yourself and life’s fruit.
Camp in the Yard
As you peer through the darkness lit only by lantern light, you make your way to your tent. You snuggle into your sleeping bag wedged between your children and begin a bed time story. Lantern lights are finally turned off for the night, and your head eases into your soft pillow. You peer out the tent flap and are comforted by the kitchen light outside your tent. Camping in your own back yard, the joy of adventure close to home and an indoor bathroom only feet away.
Catch a Crawdad
The sun is dancing on the surface of the “crick.” The soft sandy bottom feels so good on your toes as you delicately creep forward. Keep your eyes open wide, pail in hand, senses on alert. Send your scouts ahead to spy out your targets that like to hide under rocks or along the water’s edge in placid pools. As soon as you spot your prize, submerge your bucket behind him as your partner startles him. If all goes well, the crawdad will scurry backwards into your pail. Much laughter comes with catching this critter. Once you’ve all marveled at his pinchers, send him back home and continue your quest.
Photos by Bobbi Jasay Photography and Anna Spence Photography
Be sure to join me on Instagram HERE