What to do with Kids in Summer

What will I do with my kids in summer??? THat’s the questions most moms are asking themselves at the end of school year.

When summer rolls in, what do you think about? Do you absolutely dread it or do you welcome it with open arms like your long-lost friend? I have to admit that I can honestly identify with either of these reactions. When the school year comes to an end, I often feel intimidated by the unknown of summer. How will we spend our days? Will I manage all-day-long bickering with grace? When will I get all my housework done??

I have realized though that it’s not the thought of my children spending summer at home that flusters me. Simply put, it’s just the thought of a change. I struggle with the change of routine, be it my route to the grocery store or the way I put my make up on. Knowing and ultimately accepting this about myself has actually helped me in many areas of my life in the recent years. Even though predictability is my jam, I had to learn to adapt! Because what is life but an unpredictable chain of events, right?

kids in summer

I have learned to embrace summer as a great opportunity to shake off the “usual” and put on another hat of motherhood. It’s a FUN summer hat, with a flower tucked in under the ribbon above the rim. I remind myself that there’s always a silver lining…And there are so many of them when your kids are home for the summer. For example, there will be….

  • no early waking up and dragging my daughter off her bed
  • no figuring out outfits and hair styles (it’s wear what you feel like kind of time of year!)
  • no debates on how many extra books to pack to read at school
  • no anxiety about my kids forgetting to do their homework
  • no rushing out the door trying to catch the tail end of the school bus…
  • no strict schedules

There WILL be freedom to do what you want and the right to be bored , but also inventive.

And I might even drink my first cup of coffee while it’s actually hot! 🙂

Getting in the right mindset is a sure way to have a successful summer time. I have found that with a little bit of prep, imagination, and good attitude on my part our summers usually go smoothly and almost effortlessly.

What are the things that help us to have a great time with kids in summer?

1. Traditions

Have you noticed how we all are drawn to those familiar activities, even the ones we kind of hate? We are still more likely to participate in them because they are familiar, tried and tested, and they deliver a well-known result. Of course there’s a drawback of “same old, same old”. You are not getting that same kind of excitement than when you try something new for the first time. Still, there’s value in traditions and rituals.

Find something that your family does every summer and write it down. Ice cream in the first day of summer, camping out in the backyard, road trip, berry picking…These are just a few of my family’s traditions we do every single summer. They serve as a good base to start off your planning.

kids in summer

Don’t have any family traditions yet? Start some fun ones this summer! It’s not hard to come up with ideas, run them by your kids and then just try them! Some will stick, and some will flop, but that’s just how you figure out what works.

2. Setting up a Summer Bucket List or Summer Fun List

I have found that if my kids and I have a good list of things to do in summer, we are less likely to get in a funky mood of feeling bored and disinterested.

The best thing to do, when coming up with ideas for your bucket list, is to include your kids. In our house, it’s a proven fact that when the kids come up with fun stuff to do, they are that much more excited about our outings.

kids in summer

Also, having a visual picture of our choices makes us all more excited in planning our weeks and gives us many things to look forward to!

You can make your summer bucket any way you want. It can be a simple list of things you’d like to do or a fancier one, like a banner or chalkboard art. Ours usually comes with photos. We “cross out” the things we had done with a photo to prove it. 🙂

3. Learning a new skill

Summers are not just for relaxing and day dreaming. While it is true that the kids’ brains need a break from vigorous learning and studying, it is also true that they still should exercise their brain in other, more creative ways. What better time than summer to try to accomplish that?

First, I think it’ll be a great idea to ask your kid what he/she would like to learn. Their answers might surprise you! Listen closely and take note. Your daughter might want to learn to sew or your son want to try to cut grass with the lawn mower. It could be learning to take photographs with your camera or learning how to work a washing machine/dryer. Some skill goals might be grand like learning to play the piano, while others might me small like learning to tie shoe laces.

kids in summer

Whatever the goal, make sure your kids see you listening to them and validating their dreams and desires. No, they may not be able to go to the skateboard camp, but…they might be able to build a ramp with their dad and learn the tricks in their own front yard? The important part is that they were heard and acknowledged.

And that’s why this little tip is so important. It helps to build a bond between parents and kids while doing something together. Not only will you kids be setting and reaching goals, but they will also be getting a tangible end result of something they wanted to accomplish. What better way to spend some quality time with your kids in summer?

4. TRAVEL

This one is such a summer life saver, especially if done right. Most kids love to go to new places and have new experiences. They love the process of packing and scheming. And maybe more than anything, they love the anticipation.

kids in summer

Younger kids probably won’t care as much where exactly you are headed, as long as it’s called a “Trip”. Your job as a parent is to make it sound exciting, that’s all. Bigger kids will probably be more interested in the destination, so let them participate in choosing the location. And if you have teens, they might be even asking what’s in it for them? Be prepared to answer! 😉

There are many ways that you can approach summer travel!  Day trips, Road trips, RV/camper trips, air travel, train travel, cruises, camping, etc.

In the end, it all depends on how much vacation time you have, what you can afford, how young your children are, and what personality type you are!

Not everyone is cut out for road tripping or camping, for example, and that is perfectly fine. Others, however, prefer not to fly or go on a boat, and so their travel will look different. There is no right or wrong way to do summer travel. If you are enjoying yourself and your family, then that’s what matters!

As I mentioned before, summer can be both overwhelming but also very rewarding. It all depends on your attitude and a little bit of prep work. Don’t let the thought of stress put you on the defense.

Rather, go on the offense! Attack the situation with a list of ideas and destinations that can make it much easier to enjoy this summer instead of dreading it. I know you can make it the best summer yet!

So don’t wait, grab a pencil and jot down some awesome ideas that you found here. Or perhaps you came up with a few of your own while reading this post! Please, feel free to share your ideas in the comments. And remember, a little prep work and positive attitude can go along way. Have a wonderful summer!

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