Group of kids with mom sitting by the fire and drinking tea in autumn forest, hike at weekend

As adherents of Adoption Attunement, we believe that having fun together as a family is an integral factor in building successful connection and attachment. It is far too easy to get hyper-focused on the education and discipline aspect of parenting and to lose sight of the priority fun needs to serve. Summer offers a perfect time for reprioritizing our focus. Make time for joy; be intentional about creating it. Happy times form the building blocks of family identity and cohesion. Ensure that the memories your family shares include far more happy times than times of anger and disconnection.

How can we best bring joy into our daily family life? Get outdoors! Spending time in nature benefits us in both body and spirit. Children crave being outside curling their bare toes in the sand, digging in the mud, climbing trees, and running with the sheer pleasure of being alive. Doing it as a family creates memories and grows connection.

If ultra-high temperatures dissuade you from getting out, why not try some twilight or after-dark activities?  Turn off your devices and simply enjoy one another. Be in the experience! Catch some fireflies.


Here are just a few ideas:

Spread a blanket and admire the stars.

Have a family picnic supper. Include at least one food that will appeal to each person.

Set out a dessert bar and indulge. Let kids pile on the ingredients. (Resume healthier eating the next day.)

Make s’mores.

Play squirt gun or flashlight tag as a family. Vary how you team up!

Take a night hike around the neighborhood.

Have a family karaoke night.

Make an exception and eat dessert first for one meal. (This will shock them, for sure!)

Hold a family dance-off using the children’s favorite tunes.

Dig deep into your own childhood memories and rediscover the simple activities you loved to share with your family and then update them for your own kids. The goal is to step out of “busyness” and preoccupation with the “work” of life so that we ensure that we accomplish our most important goal: to raise children who feel loved, capable, happy, and connected to family.

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