School let out last week where I reside. It’s strange to have daughters who are in their late 20’s; I don’t keep up with the school calendar anymore. But there is something about hearing that school is out for the summer that brings a huge smile to my face! I LOVED when the Girls were on this break!
Some of you Moms may be thinking the opposite- I mean, all those extra trips to the grocery store with the kids and their friends home all day! And the added laundry- how come they have to change their clothes a dozen times? But, you have to agree it is nice to have a schedule free of homework, school projects, PTA meetings, and early morning carpooling! You may still take kids to a sitter/daycare, but it is less hectic when you eliminate, “Do you have your lunch?” Or, “What, you need a shoebox today?!”
One of the first things I did when summer break was part of our life was sit my daughters down at the table and give them a sheet of paper. I would ask them to list 10 things they’d like to do during the summer. Be sure you pick a time that’s not rushed, let them ponder and think about it. I’d tape the lists to the refrigerator for future reference.
You might not even look at the “Top 10 Things to Do” list for a couple weeks. After all, at first everyone is content to just breathe and do nothing! And then there is that day… you know, when you’re trying to get something done and your kids gather round you and just stand! They are bored, hot, and have come to you for entertainment and suggestions… that’s when you turn to the list! Ask them to pick something from their list they can do alone. Or, pick something you can do together and schedule it. The fact the list was made before the kids were hot and bored eliminates any possible lectures of finding something to do and, “I didn’t have all these toys when I was your age!” from taking place. You can calmly refer to the list; this encourages your children to be responsible for their own free time!
The “Top 10 Things to Do” list will look different for each family, but here are a few things my Girls enjoyed doing:
*Pack a lunch and take a bike ride/hike with a friend
*Visit a water park, zoo, and parks with great playground equipment
*Have friends over and have an ice cream sundae bar
*Backwards dinner night- dessert first, etc (maybe that was from MY list!)
*Water party with friends and/or neighbors- gather sprinklers, squirt guns, slip n slides, etc. for an amazing day! Ask other parents to help with snacks.
*Craft day- we often did this for 4th of July- we painted tee shirts, hats, etc. and made flag pins. Invite their friends for a fun and creative day!
*Bike parade- kids love decorating their bikes- you don’t need a holiday- create an occasion!
*Get out all the costumes and dress up clothes and let your kids and their friends put on a performance. This usually took a couple days of writing the script, practicing, making tickets, etc.
*A lemonade stand. Pick a charity and turn the kids loose! They love making the signs, deciding on prices, baking etc. What a great way for your kids to have fun, be productive, and learn to be generous!
What ideas do you and your children have to make summer vacation the best! Leave your comments in the section below.