Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Survive Summer With Your Kids

If you have been reading my blog, you know that every summer I try to plan fun activities for our kids.  It doesn't always work, but it is nice to have some ideas layed out.  This summer we have 87 Days of Fun to fill.  So I better get busy!

The first thing I do is gather ideas - big or small- from the kids to see what they want to do this summer.  Their ideas include small ideas like having friends over, going camping, going to Coldstone for ice cream, and big ideas like going to Disney World (not happening) and going to Adventureland (a theme park).  Then I look at our scheduled activities like baseball, Tball, basketball camp, speech camp, vacation, and come up with some sort of plan.

Other years I have given each day of the week a theme, but this year I decided not to do that.  Each day there will be chores.  Chores are written on popsicle sticks for the kids to draw from.  The kids will be expected to read and keep a Reading Log.  Treats will be given along the way for meeting reading goals.  Then there is the fun!

One place I get ideas for summer fun is from THE CONFIDENT MOM.  Susan  of THE CONFIDENT MOM makes up this awesome calendar for June, July and August with an idea/day.  Some days include recipes, crafts, or outings. 

The calendar can be printed off or used online with the accessible links in the calendar.  She has done all the research for you and for just $7, you can access all of it!  It is well worth the money if you have kids preschool-elementary age.  You can access the calendar by going to her BLOG and clicking on the summer calendar picture.  Within minutes you can be planning your summer fun!  Thanks Susan for all your hard work!

Some of my other ideas:
-Get our your cookbooks, have the kids pick new recipes and plan the whole meal and then go to the store and get your ingredients.  Include budgeting skills in the activity by giving the kids a budget. 
-Empty out your craft bins and create some wacky crafts!
-Have a movie marathon (great for a rainy day) with popcorn.  Each kid gets to pick a movie.
-Have a board game marathon and each kid gets to pick a board game or pick an outdoor game.
-Create a scavenger hunt around your community.  Have the kids take pictures of wacky items that they need to find and you provide the transportation.  Like a Red S, a flat rock, a black dog, etc...

I also try to work in some school related activities to keep their minds working.  I found some great workbooks at LEARNING TRAIN.  They have great activity books like Learning to Draw Pets as well as subject/grade related workbooks.  My order arrived in just a few days!

Be creative.  The whole point is making summer fun and making sure the kids aren't sitting in front of the TV or attached to the Wii all summer.  Parenting is all about making memories and I am excited to get our summer started!  What neat things do you do with your kids? 

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