Welcome to Work-in-Progress Wednesday. I’ll be your Summer Activities Consultant for today.
When I say “Summer Activities Consultant,” that’s what I feel like. Granted, that job isn’t necessarily full time. I’ve spent some time here and there over the past few months trying to figure out how I’m going to keep the kids busy over the summer like an American whitewater expedition or something alike, and I think (at least for now!) I have a pretty good handle on how things are going to go. We are looking to sort out piano lessons soon too, as we’ve heard there are some great teachers out there!
If you checked out my post yesterday, you had the opportunity to find out most of what we’re doing. Our summer activities calendar includes soccer practices and games, softball practices and games, one vacation, letterboxing, a visit to an indoor play center for a party, and more! But that’s not all! There’s more behind the scenes.
Before I even put together the summer activities calendar, I actually asked my kids what they wanted out of the summer. I loved this free printable Summer Bucket list from Yellow Bliss Road:
Shockingly, my kids’ list was somewhat short. Here’s what they came up with:
- Swim in a pool
- Play with friends
- Go to camp
- Have a water fight
- Camp in the back yard
- Go to the beach
- Plant flowers
- Play with the dog
- Play soccer
- Look at clouds
How simple and sweet are the minds of children. That’s why I didn’t plan out every day quite as full as I did last year. One thing that is on our calendar that our kids did not want to do is letterboxing. It’s a lot of walking for them, and they’d rather sit inside and play on tablets or watch tv or, of course, swim in a pool. Swimming in a pool must be the most refreshing way to cool down after being out in the heat. Returning to an air conditioned home is a close second. Now is the time of the year when you need to fix your air conditioner, don’t put off getting it done!
But my husband and I decided that, since they are still young, this is one thing we wouldn’t budge on for a couple of reasons: (1) It gets them outside and active, (2) We learn so much and see so many new things! A couple of years ago, we saw some baby geese up close, which we never did before. I still see new birds and/or plants every year we go. We also learn a lot about the county we live in; and (3) These are memories that will last forever. They might hate it now, but I’m almost positive they will look on the memories with fondness down the road. We get great views of nature, get up close and personal with frogs, bugs, and butterflies, and get to eat wild berries along the way. The sacrifice now will be worth it later.
I also plan to give the kids about an hour a day to read, do their summer worksheets (which I’ll post next week), journal, and pray. I plan to use that time to help them out, to pick up journaling again, and to give myself some much-needed quiet prayer time. Speaking of journaling, here’s another great free printable from Simple as That with journaling prompts for your kids:
Here are a few other things we will be doing that my kids didn’t ask for:
- Visiting the library for special programs. Check out your local library for upcoming events. Ours has many events over the summer for all ages with different themes each year. I have the feeling the kids are going to love this year’s events.
- Visiting an art festival. I used to go to one every summer/fall with my mom. I stopped going when Rapunzel was a baby (because strollers + crowds = cranky mom), but I’d love for my kids to have the same experience.
- Visit Fun Day at the park. This isn’t on their bucket list, but if they found out we missed it, I’d be in big trouble.
- Attend etiquette class. Rapunzel took this class last year, and it has helped her and her friends greatly. Princess Anna will be learning how to be a princess this summer.
- 4th of July activities. Tradition for us and fun for the kids. What more can you ask?
- Attend the annual street fair. This is the one day I get to really spend some time with my sister-in-law and her kids. The kids get to play on bounce houses, pet some animals, and we get to support and experience everything in our community.
- Learn scriptures. I have been really bad at having the kids learn and memorize scripture. We found these great printables from Zondervan, though, that I hope will help us build up our scripture knowledge in the summer. The packets include memory cards, notes for parents, coloring pages, and a couple of pages that you can hang around your house.
- We also love completing the summer challenges and faith growth opportunities offered by Clubhouse magazine. Check out their website for details and materials.
Other things that weren’t on the bucket list but that my kids wanted to do:
- Attend basketball camp. Rapunzel earned half of the money for basketball camp ($70!!!) by herself. #proudmama
- Have a yard sale. Princess Anna has asked me numerous times if we can have a yard sale to help kids with cancer. We have a yard sale every year, which helps us pay some bills, but I think we can sacrifice that this year for her cause. All of our proceeds will be going to kids who have cancer.
- Vacation. Need I say more?
Here are some other ideas for the kids this summer:
22. Play with play-doh
23. Blow bubbles
24. Have a picnic
25. Play in the creek
26. Go fishing
27. Have a dance party
28. Play a board game
29. Do a puzzle
30. Play pretend
31. Wash the car
32. Learn a new sport
33. Play an outdoor yard game
34. Read a book
35. Go to the park
36. Visit a museum
37. Visit the zoo
38. Go to the movies
39. Visit a new town
40. Learn about your town
41. Write a letter to a friend
42. Write a letter to a family member
43. Learn something new
44. Call a grandparent (or a family friend of the grandparent type)
45. Try a new recipe
46. Color in a coloring book
47. Draw a picture
48. Make a craft as a family
49. Make (and eat!) s’mores
50. Make (and eat!) mountain pies
51. Catch fireflies
52. Eat ice cream
53. Eat a snow cone
54. Visit someone else’s yard sale
55. Do something nice for someone you don’t know
56. Do something nice for a neighbor
57. Do something nice for a parent
58. Do something nice for a sibling
59. Sort through toys, and get rid of anything you don’t need
60. Learn a new word and use it
61. Paint your nails
62. Have a spa day (my personal favorite!)
64. Make mud pies
65. Create something new out of something old
What do your kids like to do over summer vacation?