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LIFESTYLE

Celebrate Family Fun Month!

Make family time a learning experience by giving back and creating memories along the way.

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LIFESTYLE

Celebrate Family Fun Month!

Make family time a learning experience by giving back and creating memories along the way.

BY ZOE DEMARCO

There’s a new crispness in the evening air, and the sun seems to set earlier each night. Leaves are fading from green to orange, while back-to-school supplies are taking over shelves. Yes, summer is winding down, but Family Fun Month is just beginning!

Before your family gets devoured by chaotic routines of school, work and extracurricular activities, take some time to enjoy the fleeting days of August a little differently. Recruit your family to help give back to the community with our charitable tips for Family Fun Month. Trust us, the memory of helping others as a family unit will last a lifetime!

Spend a day in nature
Spend a day in nature

Pack a picnic and a Frisbee and head to your local park for a day of fun in the sun. As your day winds down, have every family member pick up—or fish out—five pieces of trash to help keep the area clean and beautiful for the next pack of picnickers to enjoy.

Plant a garden
Plant a garden

Inspire your kids’ budding green thumbs by planting a late-summer vegetable garden. Carrots, broccoli and cauliflower all do well when planted this month. Being able to watch the fruits of their labour flourish will inspire family members to eat more veggies and start conversations about food literacy. Get started with a five-step guide to planting a home garden. Bonus sixth step: start a compost system!

Collect items for a shelter
Collect items for a shelter

Inspire your kids to start the new school year off with a clean slate by donating their gently used clothes and toys to a local shelter. Drop off the donations as a family to teach kids how their treasured wares bring can happiness to other children when shared. If you Marie Kondo’d too much in the spring, create care packages instead. Be sure to check with each individual shelter to see what items they’re most in need of.

Set up a lemonade stand.
Set up a lemonade stand.

The tried-and-true summer staple is a great way to meet your neighbours and spend some time in the sunshine before winter’s chill creeps in. Pick a cause that’s important to your family and donate the proceeds of your sweet sales to charity! Remember to let your customers know where their money is going with a homemade sign!

Write a card.
Write a card.

Make summer a little brighter for children or seniors stuck in the hospital by writing letters or sending stuffed animals to your local hospital. Fact: spreading kindness releases serotonin, improving any back-to-school woes.

Take action.
Take action.

After spending a week at ME to WE’s Take Action Day Camp, youth will be transformed into change-makers! After meeting new friends, building their leadership skills and growing their confidence, kids will come home with the inspiration to change the world, not to mention an action plan to help turn their passion into a real-life social impact. Bonus: their efforts can help them earn a ticket to WE Day!

Take action.
Take action.

Whether your home is full of little Kelly Clarksons, budding Dierks Bentleys or future Cleo Wades, host a charity talent show in your own backyard to let kids (and adults!) show off their skills for a good cause. Charge friends, family and neighbours $1 for admission and donate the proceeds to a cause close to your family’s heart.

Host a charity sports event.
Host a charity sports event.

If you’d rather pick up a hockey stick than a microphone, host a neighbourhood sports day! Whether your crew is more into road hockey, baseball or basketball, charge teams $5 to sign up, then create a schedule so everyone has a chance to play. At the end of the day, the winning team gets to choose where to donate the funds raised. Get started with five tips to host a fundraiser.

Head to the beach.
Head to the beach.

End the summer on a relaxing note by spending a day building sandcastles and frolicking in the waves, while starting a conversation about environmental conservation. Here’s a thought-starter: “Is your sunscreen reef-safe?

Head to the beach.
Head to the beach.

Use your family’s individual skills to make a difference in your community! If you’re bilingual, spend a Saturday teaching English to new citizens—Cusco International has placements across North America. Or, if you’re a savvy cook, ask family members to don aprons with you and head to your local community centre to help serve up nourishing fare for those in need. For parents with high schoolers glued to their phones, redirect your teen’s attention from their Instagram to a local non-profit in need of volunteers to run their social channels. Not only will this get them their required volunteer hours, it’ll teach them the value of using social media for good.

Head to the beach.
Head to the beach.

It’s never too late for a family vacation! Have the adventure of a lifetime on a ME to WE Trip to Kenya, India or Ecuador. Immerse yourselves in a new culture, while simultaneously having the opportunity to be a part of a community’s transformation. Get packing!

Zoe Demarco
Zoe Demarco
Zoe Demarco

Zoe Demarco is a writer and production manager for WE Stories. A third generation journalist, she has a natural curiosity for other people’s lives.