Memorial Day completely snuck up on me this year. I still feel like it should be next weekend and not this coming Monday! But no matter how much I might protest, Memorial Day will be here in just a few days. And as the official unofficial start to the summer, I need to get planning! For the last five years, the Husband and I have spent our summer days in the office while the kids were at daycare. But my new position as personal chef, family chauffeur, unpaid housekeeper, and children’s event planner means that I need to get prepared for a summer with the kids. More specifically, with a 5-year-old who doesn’t like to be alone (read: needs to be entertained)
To be fair, I’ll admit that L will still be in preschool for the summer. I wanted to have some special time with T before the baby gets here since L will only be in part-time pre-k in the fall. In other words: It’s all about having special one-on-one time with my big girl.
But she’s used to structure in her daily routine; which means that she gets bored easily. I’m a bit more freewheeling. Somehow we’ll need to balance out those special times with the reality of needing to keep the family fed, house cleaned, renovations completed, and all the other duties around here.
Summer Bucket List
I’ve never done a summer bucket list before. It seems like an easy place to start. Using free printables from Yellow Bliss Road, T and I brainstormed the other night and this is what she came up with:
Here’s a translation, including a few of my own additions:
– Make applesauce
– Movie Day
– Go to the pool
– Beach Day
– Make ice cream
– Make a book
– Make a music video
– Paint rocks
– Fairy Garden
– Visit the local library for an event
– Backyard Camping
– Picnic at the beach
– Take a long walk/bike ride.
– Learn more about our area with day trips to parks & landmarks
The best part is that there is plenty of room for extra activities, which will be written in as we think of them.
Day of the Week Activities
I found this post on Pinterest the other day (originally from Mother’s Niche). I love the idea of having a general theme for each day of the week. It allows for a certain amount of freedom within a loosely structured framework.
At-Home Summer Camp
I love the idea of creating themes around each week. T has been asking a lot to get more involved in cooking around here, so I think that a cooking skills camp may just happen. It’s also a great way to further organize long bucket lists or to organize activities into the day-of-the-week schedule above.
Want some ideas for themes? Try these out:
– Beach Week
– Outdoor Explorers
– Outer Space
– Little Artists
– Christmas in July
– Helping others
– Music & Theater (put on your own play!)
– Board & Lawn Games
Scheduled Quiet/Free Time
No doubt, I’m going to need some time each day to do what I need to do. I expect that this will be the time that T will be required to do her summer assignments, play on her iPod, or just play around in the back yard. We’ll have to figure out what time of day works best for us, but it’s going to be required.
Play Dates with School Friends
I have to admit to being one of those bad parents that doesn’t schedule many play dates. It doesn’t come naturally to me. When I was a kid, I just walked down the street and asked any of the neighborhood kids if they wanted to play for a while. Parents didn’t get involved. There were no structured activities or schedules. It just happened. But that’s not the culture anymore. And since she’s at a private school, most of her friends don’t live within easy walking distance. I’ll be asking T which friends she wants to see this summer, and we’re going to make a point to schedule several play dates.
What do you have planned to keep the kids busy this summer?
Do you like to keep your kid’s activities structured or unstructured?