Did you plan out your summer adventures yet? Will you have the same theme for each day all month/summer long or will you have a two week rotation on activities? Will you let the kids pick each morning? Maybe a random draw after breakfast? Which days are you already excited about? I think I am most excited about the cooking days…who doesn’t like good food?!
The last step in our plan is to think about what we will do on rainy days or what our backup plans are if the other plans fall through. Also, there are some evening and seasonal activities to consider adding to the mix, again keeping it exciting and fun! Like always, please chime in with additional ideas and things that have worked for your family.
Planning for Summer
Playing in the Rain….
Remember how fun that was? Kids love umbrellas and rain boots and being allowed to do something that’s normally off limits, right? So have that stuff ready for the first sun shower you see and head outside. Don’t forget watering cans and buckets for collecting the rain. Raincoats are fun too, but a swimsuit will do!
I like to keep any larger boxes (like diaper boxes, or bigger) and challenge myself and/or my kids to fill the box with things we no longer need or want. The destination could be trash (if you are weeding out papers, broken or unusable items), garage sale pile (if that’s your kind of thing), and/or donation to your local charities.
Taking items for donation can be educational and rewarding for everyone. Make a special trip with your donations. Tell the kids why you donate and how it helps others. If you donate to a resale shop, consider letting the kids pick out a book or game and tell them how they are supporting the charity this way as well. If you regularly donate food, let the kids pick out one item to add to the pile. They can choose from your pantry, from a specific isle in the grocery store, or even the Dollar Tree has a great selection of non perishable food. If the kids pick out, pay for and help deliver the food you are donating it will have a much greater impact on them.
Home Movie Theater…
Visit that Red Box (especially if there is a code for a free movie!), close the blinds and pop some popcorn! Maybe get a box or two of theater candy from the grocery store and pour some sparkling juice for everyone! Blankets, bean bags and pillows galore…everyone gets comfy and has a special treat. Unless, of course you have a real home theater, then maybe you can invite a few of us to hang with you and we will bring the treats!!
City Sponsored Events…
Check your city’s website for summer activities. Our city has concerts and movies in the park, at dusk, one day each week. Find the ones you don’t want to miss and add them to that calendar so you don’t forget.
Chuck E Cheese…
If you are looking for a great way to reward your kids, how about FREE TOKENS on their next visit to Chuck E. Cheese? You can download and print free reward calendars to help you and your kids. There are many to choose from such as chores, eating well and cleaning their room. They can bring it in completed to Chuck E. Cheese’s and receive 10 free tokens as a reward. You can also bring their most recent report card in for another reward (this requires a food purchase). The kids can also earn free tickets by playing the games on the Chuck E Cheese web site. Make sure you are signed up for the rewards program online, the kids get even more free tokens for their birthdays!
The LEGO Store has a free monthly mini model build one day each month. Quantities are limited, so one free per child aged 6 to 14 only (although, depending on the store a slightly younger child may be able to participate). A new model will be available every month and will be specially themed to that month. The June build will be a LEGO lawn mower! Check with your local LEGO store for dates and times (this is generally an evening event in the first week of the month).
Don’t forget to look into the free Vacation Bible Schools in your area and sign up early! (The free ones fill up fast 😉 ) Sign up for more than one, even if the theme is the same. Kids don’t get bored by repetition the same way we do; it’s
comforting to them. They have a sense of being in control if they know what’s going on. Plus they will know all the songs on the first day of the second go-round and feel pretty proud of themselves. VBS is generally open to kids who’ve finished Pre-K thru 5th or 6th grade. Younger kids can often join if a parent volunteers to help. The best part of VBS (for us Moms) is the week-long scheduled activities that fill up half the day without much effort on our part!Co-op child care…
If you have a few local friends with kids in the same age group as yours, try setting up a child care swap! It might be hard to schedule this for the entire summer with vacations and family plans but pick a few days or one week each. Then when it is your day(s)/week, you have everyone’s kids while they get a free day(s). It’ll be worth the extra work when it’s their turn to take all the kids and YOU get a day to yourself.
There are seemingly endless ways to fill along summer day. Don’t forget to take bike rides or walks and let you child(ren) lead the way. Have a scavenger hunt in the yard/house/park. Invent games and laugh at the silliness. Declare a “game day” (or night) and play the games you forgot you had. Teach the kids a new game, card games are perfect (you can use chip clips as card holders!!) Our family loves to play Uno. Nerf gun wars are fun indoors and out. Build a fort out of blankets and sheets. Play school and let the kids be your teacher. I’m sure there are many more ideas, but you get the picture.
I hope you have enjoyed this series and it has inspired you to put some plans into action to make this summer the best one yet. The one the kids will always recall when they think back to fun summer days. Family is great and the kids grow way too fast…so enjoy!