Do Your Summer Plans Need a Re-Do?
by Tricia Goyer
I had such noble intentions when summer started. I'd hoped to work at home in the mornings and spend time with my kids at the waterslides in the afternoon. Sure the passes were a little pricey, but the fun times would be worth it, right? Then the complaints started.
“It's boring there without my friends.”
“We just went there yesterday.”
“Can't we go to the lake or on a picnic instead?”
Too often I get a picture in my mind of what summer should be like. The schedule is usually a mix of things that are easy for me to supervise and things I would have liked to do as a kid. Can you relate? Maybe you've gotten into the summer break and now realize that your warm weather calendar needs a do-over. If so, here are some tips to get you started:
• Create an “Under Five” list with things you can do for less than $5 or less than 5-minutes prep.
--Play a favorite board game.
--Buy a loaf of bread and feed the ducks at the park.
--Run through the sprinklers.
--Watch a cartoon and mute the volume, making up your own words to go with the story
--Buy a carton of ice cream (or two) and call your neighbors, inviting them to bring a topping and join you for sundaes.
• Create a weekly date to be a tourist in your town. Stop by a local hotel and pick up tourist attraction brochures from the front lobby and find things to do that are free or inexpensive.
• Remember white space? Invite your kids to mark off a few days a month where there is nothing planned. Let them sleep in, wear pjs all day, play video games and eat cereal for dinner … although the day may be so appealing you may need to color in the space red or even lime green!
• Offer summertime rewards. Set up household chores or yard work with a point system and then buy inexpensive items for a prize box. Kids can pick and choose what to do and then redeem points for things to make their day fun, such as water balloons, squirt guns, sidewalk chalk and movie rentals. And the added benefit is you get extra help!
Whatever you choose, remember that even your re-planned plans can change. Go with the flow. Summer may not turn out how you envisioned it, but with balance and flexibility it can be filled with fun!
Tricia Goyer is a wife and mom of in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her favorite summertime activity so far was going to the museum to see the mummies!