One word, CAMP!
If you can swing it and your child is old enough, I highly recommend summer camp for a week at a time. I just signed my child up, once again, for adventure camp where she can climb walls, stomp in a creek, work with her team on a ropes course, sleep outside, hike, bike, and swim to her heart’s content. This is a camp she has been to for several summers but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t look forward to it all year. During that week away, she forgets she has parents unless we send her a care package that is.
As much as I love and advocate family vacations for adventure and general family bonding, it is important for kiddos to have time on their own to spread their wings and figure out what they are made of. If your child is not comfortable going away to camp just yet, there are several camps that offer that a “women’s week” or “parents’ week” where Mom or Dad can stay at camp too. The kiddos have their own activities throughout the day and then stay with their parents at night instead of with other kids and counselors. If finances are an issue, many camps have scholarships available. Try to find a way for your kids to fly on their own if you can, it will bring confidence, resilience, and fun!