Summer is almost here and for many families a memorable summer vacation means a trip away from home. But great memories aren't created only on the road.
Vicki Iovine, contributing editor for Child magazine, visits The Early Show Monday to offer fun and easy tips on creating great memories for parents and children staying at home this summer.
"For parents, 'summer' and 'vacation' should never be put in the same sentence," says Iovine. "There's such a thing as 'traveling with children' and there's something that our family has chosen this summer called, 'staying home and making it memorable.'"
To make the summer memorable, Iovine says, you can start by setting what she calls "memory goals" with your kids.
"Maybe one child wants to learn to swim, or another wants to read an entire chapter book or perhaps you all want to discover the hidden treasures of your own city. Once each child has chosen a goal, you can break each accomplishment down into smaller parts."
"For example, for the swimmer-to-be, you can talk about how there are different steps in the journey to water safety: first you have to put your face under water, then hold your breath there, then let move away from the steps or poolside and into open water, and then kick like a motor boat," she continues.
"Pick a way that you'd like to document this adventure and work at it a couple of hours a week. It's best to make a game of it for the younger ones. Older children are brilliant with the video camera and CDs. The can create a scrapbook for everyone.
The following are Iovine's tips:
Time Capsules - You don't have to actually bury it! Just find a roomy, airtight container, like a Tupperware casserole dish, and slowly add very special mementos throughout the summer. Hide it in your closet until next summer. Age range: 31/2 to 12 years old.
Scrapbooks - This is particularly kid-friendly now with all the products available and entire stores devoted to this hobby. Age range: 3 1/2 to 12 years old.
Make A Movie - Teach children to use the video camera and then transfer the videos to DVD to ensure longer durability. Age range: 3 1/2 to 12 years old. When they make their movies, you can have them take on a television personality so that's it's narrated, silly and fun for them.
Keep A Family Journal - Everyone, from Mom and Dad to toddlers can participate. Pick a day of the week, like Sunday, that is Journal Day. Each member of the family writes his feelings, draws a picture or copies something from a favorite book. Early in September, plan a family trip to Kinko's to make several color copies. Age range: 3 1/2- 12 years old
Make A Digital Diary - Log on to timecap.com. It offers ways to create a diary, photo album and calendar, not just for summer but for birthdays, weddings and even memorials for people or pets who have passed away. These programs keep you organized and even provide captions and headers. You can put it on a disc or CD and it's yours forever. Age range: older kids.
About Vicki Iovine:
Iovine is an established author behind the hit Girlfriend's Guide Books series. For the past five years, she has been a contributing editor for Child magazine and recently, she has sold a feature film screenplay to Twentieth Century Fox. Iovine is also the director of Special Olympics International.