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10 Ideas to Stay Cool While Having Fun With Your Aging Parents this Summer

Playing with hats

Summer is officially in full swing! Like hanging out with your kids in the heat, sometimes it’s a challenge to come up with fun, creative ways to spend time together — away from the computer.

Here are 10 ways you and your beloved seniors can create cherished memories with each other during the summer months.

1. Make homemade ice cream or sorbet – what a great way to stay cool this summer!

2. Take a drive to the beach or a nearby lake or river – just taking a leisurely drive by the water can be refreshing and relaxing.

3. Start your own summer reading program by reading some well-chosen books with/to your parents, or, if you’re all avid readers, challenge each other to see who can read more books.

4. Attend a summer music concert outdoors – most American cities offer lots of free events, many with performers loved by you as well as the Baby Boomers and older. You can bring a picnic, some pillows and make it a special night!

5. Create your own “movie marathon” by grabbing a bunch of classics on DVD’s or downloading your parents’ favorites from your childhood. Spend a hot, humid weekend indoors, with the air-conditioner or fan going and everyone in your family cool. You can even pop some popcorn or make stovetop s’mores while you laugh/cry with your folks.

6. Start a family history “research” project with your aging loved ones. You may be surprised how much fun this can be once you get started, like putting together a huge puzzle and figuring out where all the family history fits in.

7. Get out those old records or 8 tracks and relive the music that you both grew up listening to.

8. Develop new summer traditions that your family enjoys. If you like to convene after church on Sunday for a summer barbecue with everyone bringing their favorite dish, or Monday night game nights where the whole family including the grandkids can get involved and laugh together.

9. Organize a family reunion – One way family traditions and love is kept alive is by spending time together, sharing favorite family recipes, music, videos and “legends” of family lore, all of which results in building new memories.

10. Learn something new together or everyone “teach” something that’s new to the others. There are innumerable opportunities to have fun with something “new:” you’re never too old to learn something new or share what you know.

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