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Summertime Is Here! Let’s Get Happy!

dsc03976 Well, it is for our family, anyway.  Preschool is just about over and I have the long, relatively uneventful months of June, July, and August ahead of me to spend with my children.  It’s confession time:  a few months ago, you would have heard me saying things like, “I’m dreading summer!” or “What am I going to do with my kids for TWELVE WHOLE WEEKS?!”  Alas.  God reminded me not so long ago what a great gift He’s given me:  time with my kids.  However long the days might become, this is a sweet age for my children, and I am wrong to take it for granted.  I have been brainstorming a few ideas for summer activities, and I’d like to share them with you.  I have resolved to enjoy the weeks with my children, not complain about the heat, and step up my creative game.   Moms (and dads?), I present to you my “glass-is-half-full” approach.

  1. I intend to plan out activities for each week.  As a former teacher, this is not that hard for me to do.  In essence, I’m going to make our home something of a preschool.  Each week will have a theme, and all of our activities will flow out of that theme.  For example, cars.  We’ll talk about cars, look at pictures of cars, go on a hunt for different kinds of cars, paint/draw/sculpt cars, play with toy cars, check out books from the library about cars, listen to songs about cars (or by The Cars – ha!), watch the movie Cars, etc.   Other themes:  music, airplanes (with a field trip to the airport), balloons (I can’t wait to see my son throw a water balloon), fish, etc.
  2. I plan to seek out as many air-conditioned free activities as possible.  Barnes & Noble, the public library, and lots of other places host morning story or craft times.  Though it takes energy for me to manage both of my toddlers in those environments, it’ll give us something to do outside of our house.  I will also ask my mom friends if they have any guest rate options for museums, pools, and private parks.  I’ll look for you there!
  3. I am coordinating a summer playgroup with all of my mom friends, and some new ones I’ve just made.  Meet weekly, same time, rotate the location.  Easy!
  4. I would like to plan at least one lunch out a week with another mom and her kids.  Gotta love Chick-Fil-A and other restaurants with the play areas! 
  5. I will wake up saying, “Today, I get to play with my children!” rather than, “Today, I will try to survive another day at home with the kids.”

In my quest to be SuperMom Of The Summer, I will utilize ideas from some of the following websites:  dsc04232

What are your resolutions and ideas for managing a summer at home with little ones?  Do you have any other links for rockin’ websites that are packed with activities to keep everyone busy?  Let’s spur one another on to love and good times with our darling little ones!

9 Responses to Summertime Is Here! Let’s Get Happy!

  • Gravatar May 14, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

    I’m a former Kindergarten teacher, I taught for 5 years before I decided to stay home and raise my family. I am so grateful for this choice, but you are right, you do have to keep yourself busy!
    I was thinking of doing the alphabet this summer and find activities revolving around two letters a week…I’m still thinking…Thanks for your ideas!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Christy
    May 15, 2009 @ 8:16 am

    Thank you soooooo much for this article! Your #5 is EXACTLY what I need to be saying everyday. It’s hard to be at home with your kids all day everyday and not feel like you are going crazy, but it IS a huge blessing! I love the idea you had about a weekly theme. I am going to steal it! I’ve already started planning out some weeks!!! Thanks soooo much!!!!

  • Comment by Amanda
    May 15, 2009 @ 10:59 am

    These are great ideas, Dawn! You have even inspired me to do something with Annabelle. They do it in her MDO class on various topics. Yellow is now her favorite color, because of their focus on colors. Maybe we’ll do a couple weeks of blue. :)

  • Comment by Dawn
    May 15, 2009 @ 11:07 am

    MT Mommy & Christy, you are so welcome! I’m glad the ideas have inspired you. I have to get to work on putting together my weekly projects with the kids. I’m thinking we can make a scrapbook together of all the things we learned, too!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Mindy
    May 15, 2009 @ 11:34 am

    What a great reminder! I only have a 7 1/2 month who keeps me so busy and somedays I just dread because they are the same as the day before. What I need to do is remind myself that she will only be this sweet age for so long before she will no longer even want me around.

    Thanks for the tips, I will save these for when she is a toddler:)

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Harriet
    May 15, 2009 @ 11:48 am

    Good for you. Great goal setting!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Breanna
    May 15, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    This topic has really been on my mind this week and I’ve started to actually get excited about summer! I know there are lots of free/cheap activiites for the kids and I’m trying to find out about as many of these opportunities as possible. My favorites are at the local library (story/activity times), Peter Piper Pizza (lunch + themed activities $3), and the movie theater (hosts a free movie 1x week)!

  • Comment by Sharon M
    May 16, 2009 @ 1:13 am

    Swimming lessons and/or teams are also a good idea (for those of you w/ older kids). A lot of neighborhood pools offer unlimited visits for a small fee, and if we lived in the States, we would TOTALLY take advantage of that!

  • Gravatar July 9, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

    [...] hard to believe it was close to two months ago that  I posted some resolutions I had for myself this summer.  I was determined to value the time with my kids and not get caught [...]

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