Ah, summer is finally here. Well, technically, summer is still a few days away, but summer break is here. That means sleeping late, lazy days playing in the sprinkler, and all kinds of relaxin'!
Sounds dreamy, doesn't it? For a few days? YES! For a few months? Maybe not.
If you're a Type-A personality (ahem, like me) you're ready to climb the walls after a couple days of all that doin' nothin'! Throw in a couple of kids whose vocabulary have been reduced to "I'm bored" AND the summertime we-can't-get-along-but-can't-stand-to-be-apart sibling phenomenon, and this mama is ready to run screaming for the nearest Starbucks!
So how does one combat the summertime boredom blues?
1. Be intentional.
I love this post by my friend Lori at Everyday Truth about making the most of summertime. She says, "Summer should have plenty of time for making memories and having fun, but it should also be a time when our kids learn the value of work and learn some new things." I couldn't agree more.
I want to enjoy our summers, but I also want to be intentional about our time. We make a list (oh, how I love my lists!) of things we want to do while school is out. It includes things like vacations we are planning, activities we want to do close to home, projects we want to accomplish, and things we want to learn...sort of a "Summer Bucket List."
This gives the kids things to look forward to and keeps us from looking back in August wondering why we didn't do anything. The Summer Survival Calendar is a great way to keep all you ideas and activities organized. Plus, it's chocked full of ideas and resources!
2. Embrace a routine.
While summer's relaxed schedule is nice, I've found that too much "relaxation" (or laziness) sets us all on edge. So, while we don't adhere to a rigid schedule like we do during the school year, we do follow a routine...an order in which we do things, but at a more relaxed pace. I love Lori's idea of three categories in the day: Chores (because they still have to be done, right?), Learning (who says it can't be fun?), and Fun (after all, that's what summer is for).
Speaking of chores...there are some great ideas for summertime chores (with free printables!) over at Organizing Made Fun. I can't wait to try her Media Time Cards, which take all the pressure off mom saying "yes" or "no" and teaches the kids to budget their time. Love it!
3. Have fun!
Summer is the perfect time for purposeful fun, which is why I love these 67 Ideas for Fun and Learning (for younger kids) from I Can Teach My Child and these Summer Learning Activities (for ages 6-10) from Imagination Soup. I'm sure there are more activities than we could ever do in one summer!
And I can't wait to start Around the World in 60 Days (from Focus on the Family) where we can learn about different countries and cultures and even print our own passports!
4. Curl up with a good book.
One of our favorite summertime activities is reading. When mid-summer hits and we're all tired of the heat and sun, there's nothing like curling up with a book in the good ol' air conditioning! We usually do the summer reading program at our local library, but I love how my friend Lora at My Blessed Life created a custom plan for her family. She shares how she did it and includes links to great resources! You should definitely heck it out!
5. Enjoy the great outdoors!
What is summer without a camping trip? So, if you're planning on packing up the tent and heading out to great unknown, be sure to check out this Memorial Day post my friend Sarah at Desserted Planet did of the most amazing campfire treats on the Internet! It almost makes me want to load up the cookware and find the nearest campfire.
6. Get creative.
Still, no matter how well you plan, there will be moments when you here the inevitable, "Mom, I'm bored!" Thankfully, Frugalissa Finds has got you covered. Check out their We Will Survive Summer Activity Jars!!
7. Bonus: Build character.
This may be my favorite idea of all...While I want my kids to stay busy and active this summer, I don't want them to be too busy to show a little kindness. The Button Project is a great summer-long activity for elementary-age kids to discover how they can make a difference. There are even printable lessons on their Facebook page.
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Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.