Summer is officially in full swing, and we are finally starting to come out of our pandemic fog. But let’s be honest, things may not quite feel completely the same as summers past. Whatever summer has on tap for us, it is still a good time to get organized for the warmer months ahead. This seemed like a good time to revisit a popular post from the past.
Summer camp planning can start really early, like back in January early! Since things still had a level of uncertainty back then you may not have booked those usual camps and adventures. As a family with two working parents we have relied on summer camps as a great option for childcare, but also a great way to keep The Mayor (my son’s nickname) active. For the past few years he has done Soccer day camps and overnight camps, and also outdoor adventure camps. Even if you have booked camps and fun stuff, you may still have a lot of time to fill. Here are a few things to help you out:
Make a Reading List
Put together a reading list of age appropriate books. This may even be something that your school or local library may offer. If you don’t have this option you can start a summer reading group with some school or neighborhood friends. If you are still laying low and sticking close to home, it’s a great option that can be done virtually. Another idea is to do a reading challenge and add some healthy competition. A post in a Facebook group or on a neighborhood app like Nextdoor may even give you an opportunity to meet some new friends.
Gather Craft/Activity Ideas
I am sure you can agree that the screen time battle will never be over. The only thing we can do is try to come up with ideas to keep them busy that don’t involve screens. Head on over to Pinterest, or do a quick online search for some craft ideas. Make a list, and gather materials if you don’t have them already. You may be surprised at what you can find in your area. In my area there is a craft business that is making craft kits that they will deliver…genius! (Note: since the original post I’ve done two craft projects this way! Amazing!)
Being active is great for the whole family, so have some fun with it. Set up a fitness challenge, make an obstacle course in your yard…or family room if you have little littles. If your kids are a little older you can have them come up with the challenge then you can take a few minutes away from your schedule (or work day) to go be active with them.
Make a Schedule
Keeping some structure will benefit not just you, but your kids as well. By setting up a daily schedule you take the guesswork out of what the day is going to look like. If you are working from home it will also help you to be more productive. If you have to start work at a certain time, get everyone up and dressed before you start, this will prevent the early morning interruptions while you are trying to start your work day. And by scheduling lunch into your day you can look forward to taking a break and having lunch together. Don’t forget the free time…boredom is good, so let them have some time to be bored.
Make a Fun List
Making a list of fun things to do is a great way to have a resource at your fingertips when you have zero energy to think about something to do. This is also something I recommend to clients when they are feeling burnt out or overworked. The hardest time to gather a coherent thought is when you are knee deep in frustration…the hardest time to find something to do is when you are knee deep in trying to decide what to do. Start a list of activities. Include things that are free, things that cost money, things that can be done at home, and things that can be done at the last minute. The goal is to have a list that encompases a magnitude of situations. Then when the time is right, pull out the list and check something off.
Oh, and if you are looking for a craft project, there are tons of ideas for Summer Bucket Lists on Pinterest. Here is a link to one to get you started.
Don’t Forget the Chores
With all of us spending more time at home these days it is important that everyone understands their responsibilities to the home. Assigning chores is one way to do this. Make a list of chores that need to be done every day, and then add in chores that need to be done on certain days. Enlist some technology to make it more fun. We love an app called Rooster Money. The free version allows you to virtually track allowance and savings. The paid version takes it to the next level by allowing you to schedule chores, set an allowance automatically, and even add extra tasks they can do to earn more money. You can also go the old school route and leave a list on the counter each day so they can check off what they have gotten done.
The nice thing about this summer, as opposed to last, is that we have more options outside of the home. Visit a new park, or search up a new hiking trail. And if you just need a break, find a friend or neighbor that you can trade off with to give each of you a little free time. Regardless of what options you choose, a little planning right now can really offer a huge payout while you are counting the days until school starts again.