3 classic summer traditions every child needs to experience

20th Jul 18 | Lifestyle

Drag the kids off their smartphones and get them enjoying some good old-fashioned outdoor fun - they'll moan at first, but end up loving it.

Family with dog on the trip

In this modern, technology-driven age, children are obsessed with all things digital, often at the expense of good ‘old-fashioned’ fun outdoors.

But while mums and dads can usually remember plenty of the exciting adventures they enjoyed in the sun during their own school summer holidays, when they grow up, kids of today are unlikely to look back with fondness – or even remember – days spent staring at a screen.

Self-confidence expert and relationship coach Ben Edwards suggests parents should make an effort to prevent traditional, typically British summer traditions from dying out.

“From picnics and building forts, to chasing the ice cream van, family strolls and street parties, there are numerous rites of passage that children today shouldn’t miss out on,” he stresses. “Tearing our kids away from their screens will certainly prove worthwhile, reigniting the joy brought by these age-old favourites.”

He suggests you start with this lot…

1. Picnics in the park

The great British picnicking tradition is a classic and something that hopefully won’t be forgotten, says Edwards .

“As you sit on a blanket, soaking up the sun while enjoying cocktail sausages, cupcakes and quiche, you’ll feel relaxed. Children, often surrounded by digital devices, will also be able to engage in lighthearted chat while enjoying fresh air and scrumptious treats.

“This is something which will undoubtedly help to create lifelong memories, provide essential vitamin D, and encourage your kids to recognise the simple pleasures in life: A lesson you’re never too young to learn.”

2. Street parties

Has anyone held a street party??? We had our third annual street party yesterday…. and it was ace!! 👭 I fully recommend it if you haven’t had one ❤️ . It was a bit of time and energy to organise but so worth it!!! 😍 What I love best is that it makes me feel part of the community, I end up talking to lots of local people and get this amazing sense of “we are all in this together”. . Amazing support from local people and small business too… including @pausestudiolondon ✨ @hawthorn_integrated ✨ @marmelo_kitchen ✨ @venner_leyton ✨ @yardarm_leyton and @cheffeyikitchen 🍰 just to name a few. . And the local scouts came and pitched a tent ⛺️ which was AWESOME and smelt like being back in 1989 😍 happy days 🙏🏽 . I was lucky enough to go and watch @paulsimonofficial in the evening after… And you’ll find me mostly lying down today 🙈😴 cream crackered. . #streetparty #leyton . . . #community #local . . . #weareone #friends #neighbours #friendsandneighbors #e10

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There doesn’t have to be a Royal wedding to host a street party for. Why not set a date during the summer holidays, get the kids to invite their friends and parents, ask them all to bring a plate of food each, set up some tables and chairs in the street, play some music and get the whole street to party together?

Edwards says: “In days gone by, these would be a regular occurrence; bringing our deckchairs and tables out into the street for an afternoon of music and food helps to instill a sense of community in our children. This is essential in a day and age where social media can leave us feeling, in many instances, more isolated than connected.”

3. Trips to the seaside

Of course, family trips to any destination are a positive event for children. However, the cinema, for example, ranks further down the list of ideal outings as your child is still glued to a screen, it’s just a little larger.

Instead, pack your swimming costumes (weather permitting) and take a trip to the seaside. Fish and chips on the seafront, followed by paddling in the sea, and the annoying joy of between the toes will help children remain connected with nature, and they’ll certainly sleep well after all that sea air.

“If it gets chilly, pack up and return home to hot chocolate and warm blankets – this in itself often makes for the best memories and will bring your family closer together,” promises Edwards.

© Press Association 2018