For 75 days my children are on Summer Break. That means I will be out numbered three to one. You know what that means? More coffee. That and a neurotic type A style plan to keep them busy all Summer. After years of trial and error, we have a system that keeps the kids looking forward to Summer traditions year after year.
Ten Summer Activities
1.) Summer Bridge Activities
We do our own version of “home schooling” during the Summer. This is why I know that it will never be an option for me full-time. Bless your heart if you are a home schooler! I love the Summer Bridge Activity books because they start off by refreshing what they should already know and then introduces them to next years curriculum
2.) A Bible Based Theme
Last year we did the first seven days of creation and the year before that we did the Armor of God. This year we are doing the Fruits of the Spirit. Each week we will select a fruit of the spirit, do a devotion, select a memory verse and then do crafts and/or service projects based on that week (not all in one day).
3.) The Library
We love, love, love the library. Every year we register for their free Summer Reading Program. The kids love getting a sticker for every book (or 50 pages) they read. For every certain amount of books they read they get a prize and if they read a total of twenty-four books they get a free book. Because I am that mom, I make my kids write (or verbally give) a summary of the book they read (sometimes they even have to do a book report). The Library also allows us to check out free movies and offers a handful of free activities appropriate for our families age range.
Every year Harkins offers a ten pack of previous released kids movies for $7 a person. It’s well worth every penny of the $28 I pay for a few hours, once a week, out of our house, in a cool theater, at a place I am not required to be the source of entertainment.
It is amazing how long a handful of craft supplies will keep my kids busy. In the past we have done collages and paintings to depict a book they have read. I normally try to have a specific craft set out for the kids but it is also fun to just to throw out a few supplies and see what they can come up with on their own.
My kids love to experiment. This year with the help of Pinterest we have a few cool experiments to try out. Of course, a volcano is always a must do. Yes. They do have to give a prediction and summarize what happened. I know, I know.
This is the perfect opportunity to not only teach the kids how to cook but to also teach them how to plan and budget. They each get to select a meal they want to make and are given a budget. They then have to make a list and go shopping for the ingredients. I love the look on their face when we sit down to eat something they planned and made, almost by themselves. You can also throw in some math facts for fun.
8.) Field Trips
Every year we set aside a few dollars to go on a few field trips. It’s hard to get motivated to leave our house during the Summer because it is so hot. We try to make it out to the zoo and few museums throughout the valley. Each kids gets to choose a location.
9.) Physical Fitness
The kids love to have P.E. at home. It is so frustrating that we can’t go to the park and play during the day without getting third degree burns. We make do with a few X-Box Kinnect Sports and Your Shape games. They are also signed up for five 5K’s this Summer and will get in a few night runs to help train.
10.) Service Projects
I try my best to instill a heart of service in my kids. The only way to do this is not with words but with action. We will do things like make an extra meal or some bake goods for friends, family and neighbors. Write thank you letters to members of our military. Pray for those in need. Now that they are a bit older I will be looking into places we can go and be of service.
I make a promise to myself every Summer to be in the moment with my kids. Maybe that means consuming and extra cup of coffee or two, having my house completely wrecked, writing blog post at midnight and eating a few questionable meals but it is well worth my kids looking forward to spending time with me every Summer.
How do you spend your Summer Break?
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