Tuesday, June 20, 2017

10 ways to really Summer with kids (and survive!)

It's summer! (sing to the Frozen/Olaf tune. . . because that's what how I typed it).

I don't know about  you, but I was so ready for my kids to get out of school and for things to slow down!  I look forward to the summer every year because I welcome the change.  I purposely don't commit to much over the summer because the school year is just so busy.  By the time school gets out I, along with the boys, eagerly welcome the quiet days of summer.  Weston is a huge home body, so he would prefer just to stay at home and play.  Ethan is happy being at home, but loves to go on adventures, so we work hard to fit that in.  I am content mixing up the days a little bit.  This momma loves being home, but goes a bit stir crazy being home all day every day.

So, in light of that, I thought I would show you some of the things we are doing this summer to stay sane.

1.  Summer Review 
This year, we are working our way through the Summer Brain Quest books and they are amazing!  They have the kids excited and LOVE to do them.  They are broken up into 7 themes/levels that your child works through.  They cover math, science, language arts, social studies, etc.  Each time they finish a page, they put a sticker on their progress map.  They even have extra stickers for bonus questions, reading logs, outdoor quests, etc.   I also really like that they are very specifically labeled for "the summer between grades" instead of just putting one grade and then not knowing if that if for going into or just leaving.  Summer bridge books can be very confusing sometimes and this one is not!  Ethan and Weston love the outdoor quests.  They played a math game with side walk chalk, numbers, and rocks.  They both got to play it together. If the kids had their way, they probably would have already finished it, but I am only letting them work on 3 pages each day. 

2.  Art and Science Projects

At least once a week, we are going to do an art project and Science thing.  I love arts and crafts (probably not a big surprise there. . . ha ha)  and Ethan wanted to add science experiments this summer.  I think it's important to spend time with our kids doing those things.  Today, we did a directed drawing of an armadillo (search Pinterest for directed drawing. . . their are a ton!) and used watercolors to fill it in.  Last week, we built marble runs using Lego Duplo blocks and sliced pool noodle pieces.  That was so much fun!  We are also going to be doing some cooking with kids . . . they both love to be in the kitchen and helping whenever they can.  Now is the time, they get to learn skills.

4.  Go on Adventures. 

We have one BIG trip coming up in July and have scheduled a few day trips here and their throughout the summer.  Some of them cost money, and others are just day trips.  We celebrated the first day of vacation with a day trip to our favorite beach and then last weekend we headed North to the boardwalk and went to an Earthquakes Soccer game for Father's Day.  We are also planning on some inexpensive adventures that are more local. . . like golfing, bowling, the zoo, baseball game, movies, etc. 

3. Take the fun outside

We don't have a pool, but we still manage to cool of pretty well.  This week not so much. . . it's too hot to be outside at 9am!).  We have sidewalk chalk, sidewalk paint, water guns, nerf guns, roads and cars, and this year, we bought badmitton to add to the fun.  We usually play outside first thing in the morning or in the evening when the backyard is mostly shade. You can also find local splash parks or friends with pools to add to this!

5. Play Games.

Things are different now that both kids are school aged.  One of those things is that you can play a real game. . . Last week, we had incredibly cool temps so we spent as much time playing outside as possible.  Also, during the school year, things are so busy that we don't always have time to play a game.  Just a little bit ago, I found Weston playing Zingo with a stuffed giraffe.  Seriously.  Our favorites right now are Uno, Bounce Off, Zingo, Sorry, and Candyland.

7.  Read Books. 
We are scheduling time for reading this summer.  We Are doing our local library's summer reading program, as well as Barnes and Noble's.  Both kids love to read and so do I.  I am reading though a stack of fiction I picked up last summer on the library's discard cart.  When the kids read, I read, so It's kind of a win.  I also have books on tape that the kids are working their way through.  Ethan and I just finished the BFG last night, so one night this week he will get to to stay up and watch the movie.  He's a bit excited. 

8.  Make time for yourself.
I am serious.  Find ways to  give yourself a break.  Every day we do quiet time where everyone goes to their special spot in the house and reads or plays quietly.  It's not perfect, but it works.  I also am going through the She Reads Truth Romans study with some friends this summer and we are meeting at various locations over the next few weeks.  We get together talk about the Bible, pray, and chat.  It's like having a girls night every night!  We also have my in laws (who are wonderful) coming to hang out with the boys a few times this summer, so my husband and I can have some "us" time.

10.  Relish the Screen Time. 
I'm just going to say it.  There will be days where we will sit around and just veg.  I'm okay with that.  I need days like that and so do my kids.  It's summer.  It doesn't happen every day, but we watch TV.  We eat lunch and watch movies.  We redbox movies and eat popcorn in the middle of the day.  Sometimes we get hit our favorite drive thru and eat it while watching a movie.  Video Games will be played, Devices will be used.  I honestly think it's okay.  So, we won't be unplugging for the summer. 

That's just 10 things.  I know there are more, but this post would be really long.  I did not mention chores.  Don't worry. . . those exist.  My kids clean and help around the house.  We take advantage of the summer time to train and work on cleaning skills.  New chores get introduced and hopefully by the end of summer, the house will look a bit cleaner.  Probably wishful thinking. 

What are some things you are doing this summer?

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