Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Summer Plan

Summer is upon us.  Can you believe it?!  I have always loved summer time.  Maybe it is because I LOVE to camp.  Maybe it is the fact that my birthday is in the summer.  Or maybe it is just the change of season and the change of pace that summer brings.  Whatever the reason, I love summer. 

In years past, I have looked forward to summer with anticipation of several big events, like a camping trip or a 4th of July celebration.  I  like to call myself an "event-er," someone who looks forward to events, and sometimes forgets to enjoy the times in between the events.  So, I got to thinking and had an idea of how to do this summer a little differently. 

First, I wanted to have fun with my kids, on purpose, not just on accident.  I started writing down several things I wanted to do with them this summer, like several crafts, or visiting new parks, or taking a day trip somewhere.  Next, I realized that I didn't want to spend a lot of money on our summer fun.  (My hubby graduated only a year ago and started a new job last October, so we are still living on a tight budget.)  I also realized that without a clear plan, I was more likely to spend money on a whim.  So, I started to brainstorm activities in my area that I could do for little or no money.  Lastly, I needed some structure.  I hate waking up in the morning and not having a plan for my day.  I wanted to know that on "this" day each week, we do "this".  Out of the blue, I fell upon several other blogs and articles that helped me to solidify my plans for this summer.  You can check them out here and here and here

So, HERE is my plan. 
First, I have a focus to each day of the week.  Now when I wake up, and even when I go to bed the night before, I know what to expect for the day.  I can plan ahead because I am not running on spontaneity.  Here is my weekly breakdown:
Monday is My Craft Monday (We will do a craft together.  Something simple, like make something with popsicle sticks, paint, whatever.  My first Monday will be my boys decorating a card stock frame to hang their artwork in on the fridge.  Hopefully, that will help them limit their fridge decor to one piece each.  Not likely.)
Tuesday is Tastee Tuesday (We will create something together in the kitchen.  I want to make suckers with my boys, teach them to make popsicles, and salt water taffy.  I loved doing those things as a kid.  I'll let them each make and decorate their own cake. Whatever they would enjoy doing that I usually don't take them time to let them do.)
Wednesday is Wet Wednesday (We will play in the water in some way on this day, whether it be in the sprinklers, slip-n-slide, kiddie pool, or visiting a local pool or splash park.)
Thursday is Thinking Thursday (I want my boys to have a day where they have to use their brains.  So on this day, we will go to story time at our local library, read books together, practice sight words and writing names, etc.) 
Friday is Field Trip Friday (I really wanted to get away occasionally, and sometimes that will be as simple as going to find and explore a new local park, visit a petting zoo, take a hike, visit cousins.) 
Saturday will be our Family Movie Night.  (I loved this idea I read.  I think it will help to create a family culture and be something fun my kids can look forward to each week.  We'll take turns picking the movie and find fun places to watch them, like in the garage or outside on a projector.) 

The last part of my summer plan came from an idea my mother in law did several years ago.  We had a family reunion and she set up a store where the kids could earn tickets and then "buy" things from the store.  They had so much fun with it!  Here is a picture of my "store" and a list of ways my boys can earn tickets. 

One ticket each for:
*reading a book/listening to a story
*making their bed
*unloading the silverware (my 3-year-old)
*setting the table
*picking up their room/toys
*helping to fold clothes
*putting their clothes away
*practicing writing their name
*doing a worksheet
*reading a sight word list (my 6-year-old)
*riding bikes for 20 minutes
I'm still adding to the list, but this is the start. 

It is very simple.  I just put in small candies (for 1 ticket each) and several dollar items, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, gum, card games, etc.  I'll add to it as the summer goes on.  I cleared out two shelves in my kitchen for my store for the summer. 

I placed a white board/cork board under the cabinet where the store sits.  Then each day, I'll post on it what day it is so the boys can know what to expect.  The jars are to hold their tickets. 

I feel so much more excited going into summer this year than usual.  And I feel like I have a real plan and can get my kiddos excited about it too. 

What are you doing this summer to enjoy the time before it is gone?

1 comment:

  1. This is such a cute idea. I hope you are having a fun summer so far.


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