As summer approaches most parents get ready to attempt to figure out what to do with their kiddos in the summer. For some parents summer camp and daycare are a must, but what about those days off where you find yourself going stir crazy in the house with nothing to do.
As a teacher, I get the summertime off with my kids, so when schools out for me and my oldest, I pull my youngest son out of daycare, and we let the good times roll!
But let me tell you, there is nothing worse than summertime cabin fever especially when kids are involved, so I am going to help you stay out of the loony bin and make epic memories with your kids that won’t break your pockets.
Rule Number 1: Make a Schedule
Having a schedule for the summer is a must. Even if you don’t have the summer completely off take into account your off days and have something in mind.
Your schedule doesn’t have to be very stringent, but I try to keep lunchtime and nap time pretty consistent. I also like to include daily outside time just so the kids can get out of the house every day.
Printing out a monthly calendar and filling it with planned activities helps keep the excitement up. I aim to do at least three activities with my kids per week, but do what works best for you.
Rule Number 2: Find Creative Ways to Learn
Learning over the summer does not always have to be never-ending workbook pages. I love using pinterest to look up fun learning activities to do with my kids. Here are some things that I search for when looking for things to do:
- Hands-on learning games
- STEM activities: STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
- Science Experiments
- Math Games
- Phonics Games
Click here to join my hands-on learning experiences Pinterest Board. I’ve already added a few activities that I plan on trying out this summer. Click the link above to become a collaborator and add activities that you find interesting to this board as well. I can’t wait to see what activities you guys add to the board!
Rule Number 3: Do Stuff!
Keep in mind: The activities that you plan with your kids do not have to cost. They can be things that you do around the house. I will give you some ideas below.
Free Activities to Do At Home
- Community Pool
Taking my kids to the community pool is one of our favorite activities things to do in the summer. Not only is it free, but it keeps us cool from the hot Florida sun.
What I love the most is that pool days is that by the time we go home my kids are wore out! They get the best naps after coming home from the pool. Also, there are almost always other kids there who my kids make fast friends with.
- Splash Pad: I purchased a splash pad for the days that I do not necessarily feel like taking the kids to the community pool. My kids have just as much fun in the splash pad that they do at the pool. This is also a great option if you do not have a pool in your neighborhood or if its a really hot day and the pool is crowded. Click the link above to order the exact same one in the photo above.
- Wash the car: Be productive, crank up your favorite tunes, and “accidentally” get each other wet! My son loves to spray the hose and it makes good family fun.
- At Home Cooking Classes: My kids love helping me cook. Planning “cooking classes” is an easy way to get the kids involved and baking or cooking new things. Trying a kids cookbook like the New York Times Best Seller “The Big Fun Kids Cookbook” can give you some creative ways to get kids involved in the kitchen. I have a son who is a picky eater. So getting him to help me cook gives him the opportunity to try new things.
- Board Games: I know this sounds basic, but break out a board game every now and again and have some old-school fun. Some of my families funniest memories is when we are gathered around a good old fashioned board game. This is also good for teaching children sportsmanship. My oldest son hates to lose but playing board games together as a family has taught him how to learn to lose, as well as how to play fair in a game.
Rule Number 4: Schedule Play Dates
Scheduling play dates with your friends and other kids in your community is a must for me. Not only do your kids get a good time, but you can actually have an another adult to talk to for a few hours.
One good way meet new families is to join your local community’s Facebook page. This is a good way to get to know your neighbors.
Another good way to find kids to schedule playdates with is to go to the local pool and library. Most of the time you will see the same kids and parents there.
Engaging with new families gives your kids and you an opportunity to meet new people. It allows you to observe how well your kids plays with the other kids involved.
I also like to observe how the child’s parent handles conflict if and when it occurs. Put your phone away and make small talk with the kids parents while your kids are playing together.
Once you and your kids have established a relationship with the family, schedule a playdate with them, only if you’re comfortable.
This may not happen on the first occasion (I don’t recommend it until your kids have had a few encounters together).
Play dates do not have to be at your home. They can be at a local park, or even a fast food restaurant that has a play place. I always like to start by asking when is the next time they are coming to the park. Then I go from there.
Rule Number 5: Get Out of the House
If COVID taught us only one thing, it was that absolutely no one wants to be stuck in the house all summer long. Now that things are back open and getting back to a “newer normal” it’s time to spread our little wings and fly!
Here are some things to do outside of the house:
- Public Library: Your local public library is not only good for checking out books over the summer, but they often have many events geared towards all age groups. My local library has story time, arts and crafts, and even coding classes for older kids. Check your local libraries website and see what events they have scheduled.
- Community Events: Check Facebook events for local events such as: farmers’ markets, fairs, parades, food truck events, cultural festivals, etc. Because the goal of these events are often to get the community together, they often range from low to no cost.
- Community Parks: Find a community park near you. Often there are other areas besides the park that you can explore. Some have basketball courts, tennis courts, hiking trails, splash pads, fishing holes, and even outdoor workout equipment. Again, the benefits of the park is that there are other kids there too.
- Beach Day: Grab some buckets, pails, fill up the cooler and head to the beach!
Words of Wisdom
Whether you have the summers off like me to spend with your kids or you have to work a nine to five job, remember that the most important factor in all of this is creating memories with your kids that will last a lifetime.
Your children only get one childhood. Make it memorable.Regina Brett
If you have any fun summertime activities that you enjoy doing with your kids post them below in the comment section.
~Peace and Love
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