In the Good Old Summertime

Happy first day of summer! What comes to mind when you think of summertime? Backyard barbeques... picnics... camping... vacations... beach parties... sandcastles... sailing... swimming... raspberry picking... lemonade... watermelon... ice cream... flowers... fireworks... family reunions
In summer, the crops that were planted in the spring grow to their fullest. Flowers blossom and fruit ripens. According to these lines from a Mother Goose rhyme: "June brings tulips, lilies, roses, fills the children's hands with poises. Hot July brings cooling showers, apricots and gillyflowers. August brings the sheaves of corn, then the harvest home is borne."
As the earth orbits the sun and spins on its tilted axis, one hemisphere is exposed to more direct rays from the sun during part of the year. This is the summer season. It's the hottest time of year, with longer daylight hours. Many people travel to the beach or mountains to cool off. In the Northern Hemisphere, summer starts on or around June 20 and lasts until about September 23
Here are 50 ideas for things to do this summer:
Clean, de-clutter, and re-decorate your room.
Put together a scrapbook of mementos from the prior school year.
Research your family history and interview your grandparents.
Set up an exercise program that you can do in hot weather. Perhaps you have an indoor exercise bike or even better, a swimming pool!
Begin a hobby or craft that you've always wanted to learn, such as sewing, quilting, painting, ceramics, scrapbooking, or playing an instrument.
Start a collection of rocks, stamps, coins, or whatever interests you.
Develop a skill such as cooking, baking, typing, or knot-tying.
Learn how to juggle or do some magic tricks.
Perform a skit, play, or puppet show. Write a script, design a set, create costumes or popsicle stick puppets, and hand out tickets.
Host a tea party or ice cream social.
Make your own movie or music video.
Have an all-night movie marathon.
Adopt your favorite character's identity for a day. It could be someone from history or even a cartoon character.
Read books to your younger brother or sister.
Start your own business.
Write a poem, song, or begin working on a novel.
Get two plastic wading pools. Fill one with water and the other with sand for a miniature backyard beach.
Build a solar oven and experiment with cooking different foods in it.
Make some homemade ice cream, smoothies, or popsicles.
Grow a garden or create a wildlife habitat in your backyard.
Get a field guide and learn about the wildlife in your area.
Keep a record of birds and other animals you see, or take an inventory of the plants in your yard.
Draw the layout of your house and a map of your yard on graph paper. Build a scale model out of cardboard or foam core board.
Get a sketchbook and draw some summer landscapes.
Memorize a favorite poem or Bible verse.
Keep a journal in which you write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, or a trip diary telling about where you go and what you do.
Make your own blog or web page.
Send care packages to military personnel stationed overseas.
Study a foreign language. Even if you don't become fluent, you will gain some familiarity with it. Research the regions and people who speak that language.
Learn sign language. Even young children will have fun signing the alphabet.
Have a chess or checker tournament, play a role-playing game, board game, or charades.
Put together a jigsaw puzzle.
Spend a leisurely afternoon in the air-conditioned public library and check out a variety of books.
Help out at a local child care center, church, or charitable organization.
Join a club or other group such as an astronomy club or reading group.
Enroll in a class at a college, community center, or online.
Spend a day at the science museum, taking time to do all of the hands-on exhibits.
Travel through time to a history museum, historical site, or living history village.
Take a tour of the state capital building and learn about the history of your state.
Visit an art museum. Decide which work of art you like best, learn more about it and the artist.
Arrange a trip to a factory or manufacturer that offers tours, such as a candy company.
Go to the zoo and choose an animal to learn more about.
Find a farm where you can pick your own fruit, or go to a farmers market to see the fresh produce.
Visit a tourist information website or Chamber of Commerce to obtain information on things to do and places to see in your state.
Plan a family vacation or weekend trip. Even short trips are great for family bonding and making memories.
Look for a cool spot to go camping, hiking, canoeing, biking, picnicking or fishing.
Set up a hammock or get a blanket, spread it out on the grass, and take a nap or watch the clouds.
Have a water balloon fight.
Stay up late or get up super early and go star gazing or meteor watching.
Decide to pick up one good habit or drop one bad habit, and then do it. 

Did You Know...?
When it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere!

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