This summer, let your kids play under the stars

It is fine if your kids miss their bedtime every now and then. In fact, letting them stay up late is sure-fire way to make some great memories.

Photo: iStockphoto

There is a certain thrill, no matter how old you are, in staying up way past your bedtime. It’s my favourite thing to do with my three children, especially on warm summer nights when we build a fire and make s’mores. Sometimes we’re even treated to the twinkling of fireflies—magical doesn’t even come close to describing these nights. This summer, use any and every excuse you can to stay out late and play under the stars. 

Movies alfresco
Our local park has an outdoor summer movie series, so we’re going to hit up a few of those. I’m also going to borrow a projector and hang a sheet off the deck so we can have our own backyard fest. 

Playing in the dark
At night, old games take on a new lustre. Flashlight tag or hide and seek in which the seeker is armed with a flashlight are super fun. Pair smaller kids with adults to prevent freak-outs. 

   Young boy and his baby brother enjoying summer outdoors with bubbles    
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Go night hiking
The element of danger that comes with exploring at night makes even the most mundane destinations exhilarating, whether you’re exploring the backyard, your neighbourhood or the woods. Want to really impress your kids? Pick up cheap headlamps for everyone.

Get glowing
Pick up some Glow Sticks and you can get up to all kinds of fun. Glow bracelets make for a fun game of ring toss and are essential accessories for backyard raves. 

Stargaze
Lay a blanket on the grass and look up at the stars. Clueless about astronomy? The Night Sky app shows you what’s what and even tracks the orbit of satellites as they pass above. Plan for peak viewing on August 12, when the Perseid meteor shower will be dancing overhead.

Coping with the aftermath
As lovely as these nights are, there’s usually a price to be paid the next day. Make sure to plan a low-key morning—like snuggling up on the sofa and watching cartoons.

Read more:
51 ways to get your kids off screens this summer
25 places every Canadian kid should see

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