Last week at our MOPS meeting, we had a wonderful speaker. She gave us the run down on what she got out of a book she read many, many years ago and how she used it to help plan her family’s summer. She has four girls and her husband played on a Major League Baseball team. Therefore, she was on her own most of the summer. The book she read was called Sanity in The Summertime by Linda Dillow and Claudia Arp.
I walked away with a lot of excitement to prepare for our summer. Here’s some of what I learned.
1. We don’t want to merely entertain our children; we want to invest in them. Someone once told me to think of it this way, You only have about 18 summers with your children before they are out on their own. Make the time worth it!
2. Ask your children what THEY would like to do and write it down! Then ask them what they would like to LEARN over the summer. Of course some of the ideas might be unreasonable, but some will work. You give them a sense of pride in helping you plan the summer!
My four-year-old told me this is what she wants to do: jump in the lake, play soccer, go to a race (?) play a game with her cousins and play basketball. We can totally make this happen all in our backyard! When I asked her what she wanted to learn? She answered, all about zebras, how to feed an elephant, and how do flowers grow?
3. Plan your objectives. I am a planner and I love structure. This part makes such sense to me. Here were some of the speaker’s examples: To develop a more personal relationship with my children, To help them express themselves better, to help my children develop a better self-image, to help my children develop responsibility, etc.
4. Ideas-Depending on your objective, now is the fun part. Plan your summer! Here were a few activities I liked and want to incorporate into our plans.
- Children’s Day. Plan one day every week that you and your kids do something together. With no other friends or parents. Just you and your kids. Ask them what they want to do!
- “Tip of the Week” Think of manners or virtues you want to teach your children and post it weekly where you can see it to remind your children. For example, it could be “Greet our family members at the door when they come home” Focus on that for that week (and hopefully it will become part of the family routine.) I’ve listed manners for each week of the summer as our “Tip of the Week” to focus on.
- An All About Me Book. Have your children complete a book that is all about them each summer and store these in a keepsake box. Search All About Me book on Pinterest and there are loads of free printables.
- Make a travel notebook for each child. Each time you vacation somewhere, buy a postcard and glue it into the book. If your children are older, have them write about the trip!
- Make a job chart or jar to teach respnsibility.
- For families with several children, choose a child to be “first” at everything on a certain day of the week. It will help reduce the whines that sound like, “But, I WANNA go first!” all summer long!
- Question Cards-to spark conversation at the dinner table or during the day. I purchased the family set on Amazon.
- Crafts for Christmas gifts. The holiday season is soooooo busy, why not complete some of those homemade, cute holiday crafts during the SUMMER months! Love this idea!
- Have a love affair with your husband. Don’t forget about your hubby! Get a sitter and hit the town together!
In the past, I have written all our ideas on a large frame with dry erase markers like this example on Eighteen 25
The above Bingo printable, compliments of Delia Creates.