When I was growing up, going to the lake was always one of my favorite things to do. There was swimming, playing in the sand, watching water skiers and boats go past me as I sat and gazed at the open water. I could sit on the swing and read for hours. I took long walks to the natural spring just to feel the coolness of the water and the smooth stones under my feet. Those are still some of my favorite things to do.
Not favored so much by me, but was by my Dad, was fishing. And berry picking. I would think, sitting in a boat for hours in the summer sun, or in the bushes with the spiders and the ants to keep me company? Not for me. My dad would fish for hours to get that perch onto his noon-day plate, and he would climb through ditches and over barbed wire fences to get to those berries, and the promise of saskatoon pie or chokecherry jam.
I remember working on the family paint by number. Anyone who wanted to could sit down and paint. I remember asking my mother “what colour is a white owl”. I thought she would never stop laughing. I still defend the question in my head when I think of it. I tend to think in tones of colour. She would still be laughing.
All that sounds good to me now, the sound of the memories of my childhood coming to meet me.
When my children were growing up, time was spent making sand candles, building bird houses, playing tea party and having picnics. There was always time for weeding the garden, eating peas and carrots all the while. I would definitely like to have more photos of those times spent together as a family.
Our family never put on plays or dramas. But I think it could be a great summer time event. It could be planned and practiced for a family gathering. Just think of the fun making up a play, planning the costumes, singing. Just the practice for it alone would be fun, and then to present the play to family and friends, well – remember to take lots of video. Watching these memories can bring joy to your heart.
Hide and seek was especially fun at our house. The children from the neighbourhood would hide somewhere in the house or yard and take great delight in being hidden for a long time or else scaring us to pieces when they jumped out and surprised us.
A scavenger hunt was always good fun too, and they would spend a good amount of time to find the prizes. Like a scavenger hunt, geocaching is something that takes planning. Geocaching is an outside activity, hunting for and finding a hidden container by means of GPS coordinates posted onto a website. There are geocaching apps you can download for your phone. GPS co-ordinates are set up to help locate a container. Once you find the container, there should be a logbook/sheet inside for you to sign and date. Also inside the container, there may be items for you to find (usually in a clear zippered plastic bag for protection from the elements). They could be medals, marbles, keychains, etc. You can trade one of the items for another one of the same value. Then the container is replaced where you found it and you can let others know that you found it, and hike on to the next coordinate. If you make your own version, you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you want. Or, go to one of the geocaching sites in Saskatchewan (google geocaching in Saskatchewan).
The Archdiocesan Resource Centre has several books for family activities. I found some books to help get you started with your planning.
Make up a fun time idea bagThe Christian Family Toolbox, 52 Benedictine Activities for the Home by David Robinson.
Make a diorama. Fill it with stones and sticks collected on a nature walk. Build a story. The Big Book of Christian Crafts by Kathy Ross
Put on your own cooking competition or show. Be sure to film everything. The Advent Kitchen by Barbara Benjamin and Alexandria Damascus Vali. Cooking with the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf
Plan for family celebrations The book “Lent and Easter in the Domestic Church" by Catherine and Peter Fournier has many activities, plays for family celebrations throughout the year, including celebrating Saints days.