We are in to week 2 of the summer holiday here (in Ontario)! Each year for this family brings new obstacles to figure out when planning the holiday.
Last summer I wrote about "Summer Lovin'", and making the most of a summer holiday. I posted some websites that give some ideas of what to do (lots for free), and also a weekly idea guide (make something Monday, take a trip Tuesday, etc.) Anyway, I wanted to update my summer feelings for this year because it is true that every year in any family, things are different. There are new pets, kids getting older (and being more opinionated!), different weather, new friends, injury, illness, being vehicle-less, having babies who need naps, or poop in the pool (that makes an embarrassing exit to the free Tim Hortons Swim day!), being too hot or too rainy to go anywhere, being too buggy to go anywhere, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Our summer started with Abigail, our 6 year old, asking multiple (MULTIPLE!!!) times a day "what we were doing today...how about tomorrow? What about the next day? When do we go to the fair? When's the picnic with the theatre people? Are we going to the splash pad? Can we go to the movies..." Ahhhhh!!! I needed that to stop in a big, bad way!!! So, one night while binge watching "Arrested Development", I looked up some printable calendars, and just printed out July, August & September. I then proceeded to look online at events in our area, check our calendar for what we'd written in there, and sort it all out with my husbands work schedule!
I found the calendar here, at Mad About Pink (I printed it in b&w because that's all I have, but the real colours are so freakin' darling), and started filling things in!
What making a visual calendar did for the kids is give them a place to look and see what might be coming up. They actually all really enjoy seeing it, and counting down days to things they're really excited about. Since I made the calendar, I've only heard once from Abby "what are we doing today?", and I told her, "go look at the calendar!". Her response was a "oh yeah!", a big smile, and running to the calendar to look. Hazaa.! Having a visual has helped my kids see that perhaps today nothing is planned...at all...but, tomorrow or the next day is something fun and different to look forward to.
The way I feel about summer, no matter what stage we are in our lives, is that over-planning ruins it....and so does never planning anything!
You know the over-planners; you ask weeks in advance if they'll be available AT ALL during the summer for a get-together, and they aren't! Whomp whomp....to each their own, but for realz, leave a few spare days for spontaneous fun!
My problem is not wanting to over-plan, and then realizing it's mid-august and we've only done 2 things---seriously, 2 things! Haha, well, I am always searching for balance when raising my family, and making the most of our time, but also leaving time for imagination, free-time, and plain-old kid summertime fun.
My husband is a planner though, well, not really, but in theory. He wants plans lined up, and expects me to make them! Ok, he doesn't really expect me to do it, but after 11 years of being married, I know what things I can do to make my husband feel loved. And making plans is one of those things!
Some of things we planned are:
~ Going to Canada Day celebrations (all free)
~ Going camping
~ Hitting up the Tweed Fair!
~ Going to the drive-in
~ Family Movie Night @ Home (we'll borrow a "new to us" movie from the library)
~ Planned dates with the kids (going for walks, getting a drink at Tim Horton's or Mac's, going to the park, just one-on-one time with a parent and child)
~ Going on picnics (these can happen right in your backyard, btw!)
~ Going to the beach
Get online and see what's up in your community this summer! Splash pads, playgrounds, walking trails; most communities have these. Libraries often have free programs, and, if nothing else, they have air conditioning on those impossibly hot days! :)
If you're stuck at home without a vehicle, or are not within walking distance of ANYTHING (like me!), then just go for a walk and tell the kids to find 5 different types of flowers, or plant a small garden--I know this isn't an immediately rewarding summer activity, but kids really do love planting things, and checking back on them. Another hilarious thing kids love to do is weed gardens! Well, my kids like to do it for some reason....anyway, just set them on the task, being clear about what is a garden plant and what is a weed, I personally quite dislike weeding, so this works out for me! Six Sisters' Stuff has this list of 50 Outdoor activities you can do in the summer with kids. Seriously, the list is full of really great ideas!
Here's an idea that'll make all paediatricians scream--have a lazy day! You and the kids wake up in the morning and it's raining? Been spending lots of time outside and doing fun indoor activities? Well, shed the mommy guilt about "wasting summer", and announce a super lazy day! Everyone can stay in their jammies, pick out a few movies, and enjoy the day! Maybe shake up the utter laziness after each movie/show by getting the kids to stand up, and do some jumping jacks, or turn on a great song and have a dance party, then put your next movie on!
So, whether you're a planner or not, be sure to make the time to fit in some special events for your family this summer! "Special" doesn't have to mean big $, or tons of time or effort even, just something different than usual! If you always make your kids eat meals at the table, then a picnic (in or outdoors!) will be a hit! Hate the mess of crafts? Me too! Just bite the bullet, and make one day a disaster of a craft day! Like I said, it's not about how grand the event is, just about making memories.
I hope everyone has a good summer planned/not planned! Haha....you know what I mean! Have any great ideas for fun days? Please do share!
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
Read more about me by clicking here!
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