Chasing Summer Fireflies

Summer days seem to be filled with busy activities, vacations, outings, and laughing kids. While I love going to the beach, traveling here and there, gathering with friends, and watching the kids play out in the yard there is something about a quiet, relaxing evening. I look forward to sharing a few quiet moments with each child when we go outside to enjoy a summer evening. The evenings are great for relaxing after long, hot, sunny days. They are a bit cooler and filled with unique opportunities to share quiet moments with the kids. There are many ways for us to share and connect with one another. One of our favorite ways is to sit by the fire pit, roast marshmallows and wait for the fireflies to come out.

Relax and Connect

Here is a list of some fun and relaxing ways to have quiet moments with the kids on a summer evening.

  • Sitting around the campfire
  • Chasing fireflies
  • Looking at the moon through a telescope
  • Gazing at the stars
  • Telling stories

Campfire

While sitting around the campfire we like to roast marshmallows and make S’mores. We might talk about the happenings of the day or what the plans are for the next day. We talk about things we’d like to do or places we’d like to go this summer. It is a wonderful way to find out what the kids are thinking about and wondering about. Many good conversations happen around the fire pit in our backyard.

Chase Fireflies

Another thing we do in our backyard is chase fireflies. They zip around in the dusk and the kids love to find them. We might catch them in a cup but we release them right away. We talk about how interesting creatures are in our world. There is actually a bug with a tushy that lights up, what a wonder. I get all types of questions about animals, bugs and critters while we look at those little fireflies.

Moon and Star Gazing

Using a telescope to look at the moon is a fun way to share a quiet moment on a summer night, especially when there is a full moon. We don’t have our own telescope but our neighbor sets the one up and allows us to use it. We have a book (National Geographic’s Backyard Guide to the Night Sky) that shows the moon’s features. So we gaze up through the telescope looking for ones that we might see. The kids ask questions about the moon, the earth and many other topics.

We also look at the stars, with and without the telescope. Usually we gaze at the stars without the telescope, enjoying the spots of light in the darkness. We use the book mentioned to find constellations and planets. The kids ask how the constellations got their names, what stars are made up, and so many other things. Making up our own constellations and giving them funny names is one of the things we do while laying on a blanket in the backyard.

Telling Stories

Spies, aliens, knights, ocean voyages, pioneer explorers all live in our backyard during summer evenings. My kids enjoy making up stories of fun adventures, people they’d like to meet, places they’d like to go and times they wish they could visit. We discuss what might have happened in distant lands, especially ones we’ve been learning about for history. There are many evenings we talk about what we would do in situations we’ve read about. We create stories about these people, places and things to share around the campfire and with one another.

Summer evenings and nights are a special way to connect to our kids. What do you and your kids like to do on summer evenings? I’d love to hear about the ways you and your kids connect in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to sign-up for the Homeschooling With Tea’s mailing list.

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