Sometimes summer time can be hard instead of magical! If you are like me, my summers growing up were basically being kicked outside, hanging out out with the neighborhood kids, biking to a pool where my parents didn’t have to come with me. However, not many of us have that anymore. You might be wondering what to do with no one for your children to play with. If you are working parent, you know the struggle of having to divide the time off that you receive from your job and work with camps and babysitters to fill in the time. If you are a stay at home, maybe your children are normally in school a good portion of the day and now you are wondering how to fill in time. If you have teenagers, summers may feel different to you then when your children were small and you could just turn on a sprinkler and bring out popsicles and everyone was relatively happy. So many different scenarios, but all looking for ideas!
One thing I realized early on is that summer for us, especially when my children were younger, was that summer required a bit of planning! In order for things to flow, then I had to have at least a skeleton outline of what would happen, and I needed some ideas.
My first idea was always meaningful work. This is really important for all children, from toddlers to teens. Teens may be getting paid for work outside the home, but meaningful care and nurturing of the home is always important and should be a major foundation of the day and week.
Depending upon where you live, you can make being outside your number one priority after meaningful work. Our days were often as simple as chores, park or a small hike in the morning, verses and songs or fingerplays, lunch and quiet time, a read aloud for the older children, pool or lake in the afternoon, dinner, bed. Small children don’t need much more than that! We often did some camping as well, and things like tubing on the lake or a nearby river (always a hit).
Sometimes if the weather was oppressive, our rhythm would become more elaborate with a baking , painting, gardening, etc on certain days of the week – more like a rhythm we kept during the school year. At the beginning of the summer I usually would invest in creating a box of goodies. Maybe it was a few new puzzles, books, games, art kits – some new things that I would have to pull out on rainy days or times when things were getting dicey at home. If you don’t have money to do this, don’t despair! There are many lists of summer science and art activities, summer math activities, and other fun things to do with chalk and bubbles on Pinterest.
For children that were nine and up, we often would tie in field trips to whatever grade we had just studied or were going to study in the fall. We made trips to museums, aquariums, berry picking, living history museums, local attractions, or day or overnight trips to things just outside our immediate area. Here is a list of summer activites that includes field trips: Screen-Free Summer Activities.
Tell me how you are juggling your summer!