As a teacher I love summer break, truly I do, but as a parent I start getting nervous around this time every year. I am a structure girl and the "emptiness" of summer leaves me a bit worried. What will we do each day? How will I keep the kids from turning into whiny, mush blobs after a few days of freedom?
I always like to have a plan. I usually make a daily schedule of sorts, but this year I ran across the best blog post about prepping for the summer. This lady is into prepping for everything apparently, but I'm just stealing her summer system: specifically her "bored" jar idea, a "Time with Mom" jar and a jar dedicated to dealing with sibling fighting.
I remember my Mom having a Bored, Nothing to Do jar when we were kids, so it feels right to introduce that tradition into our home. The Time with Mom jar is probably more for me than for the kids, really. In all honesty, I need to be held accountable to put down my summer to-do list and spend quality time with the kids. And I think the sibling fighting (Love One Another) jar idea is brilliant. It's full of ideas for things the kids can do together to encourage each other and also move on from whatever is causing the problem. I love the theory; we'll see how it goes in real life!
The original idea used colored popsicle sticks, but we didn't have any, so I came up with the paper strip idea. Kip and I painted abstract water colors on thick paper and then I cut them into strips and wrote all my ideas on them. I looked at lots of summer bucket lists and added some more ideas that are specific to my kids.
Time with Mom: snuggle and read together, go hiking or to the playground, build legos together, etc.
I'm bored: build an inside fort, watch the clouds, eat a snack under the tree and read a book, play Solitaire, etc.
Love One Another: run around the house 5 times together, tell each other 3 things you like about each other, share one of your toys for the day, etc.
I also decided it would help me to have themes for the days of the week, so I could wake up and at least have one solid idea of what we're going to do. So we're going with Make Something Monday, Time to Read Tuesday, Wet Wednesday, Take a Trip Thursday and Fun with Friends Friday. And I've got big plans for "summer schooling." I guess we shall see how that pans out!
We want to be frugal, so no camps or other official activities are on the calendar, but you better believe we are signed up for every VBS and library program I know about!!
Have a happy summer, everyone!