Crap! It’s Summer Again… Now What?!

It is my experience that most people look forward to summer.

I don’t like those people.

Since I happen to be a mom of school aged children, I hate summer… loath it, don’t want it to start. I tried to rip June, July and August off the calendar and hide those months until my husband informed me that that was just a dumb plan and really wouldn’t keep summer from coming.

Ok, fine.

We will have summer.

But I am not going to like it.

Ok, that’s not true. I’ll like it, well I want to like it.  It’s just that I have gone soft. I am not used to the kids home all day every day being all up in my business.

boys being silly

I’m not used to their non-stop crazy antics like what the hell is a banana fart and why does it involve trying to pull over the dinner table.

I mean, last summer about near killed me. By the end of July, I contemplated breaking the law just for a stint in Jail because Jail sounded like a little slice of heaven.

Yeah, it was bad. If you don’t believe me… just ask my liver. We still aren’t on speaking terms.

Anyway, you get it. I was dreading the end of school.

But then it hit me.

I am a strong, smart, college educated woman. I have life experience. I can do something about this. I can plan. I am good at planning. I can organize. I am so so about organizing.

I put my girl panties on and asked myself, what is it about the school year that I like besides the fact that the kids are going from the house for more than 6 hours a day?

And I answered myself, “The schedule!”

We have a routine. Its all laid out. The kids know what is going to happen, I know what is going to happen. It’s wonderful.

Then it hit me, so simple, so genius, so awesome… Let’s have a daily summer schedule that is posted so that the kids know what is going to happen when. It will be laminated because laminated things mean business and are respected. Then when the kids are ‘board’ or asking to watch TV or play video games for the 87th time in the first hour of being awake, I can just point at the schedule.

Bam! Done! Shut your mouth and do it!

The other thing that is a sanity savor for this summer is activities. Things to go and do so that we are not just stuck at home looking at each other. Things that get us out and let us experience the world… or at the very least the city where we live.

But going out and doing things can get very expensive and before you know it you can spend your whole wine fund on sending kids to summer camps and we all know that it just unacceptable.

Now don’t throw out the baby with the bath water just yet, tempting as that my be and  turn to your trusty friend the Internet, Facebook and even talk to people, yes real face to face conversations with people, and you will find little gems like Michael’s Passport to Imagination program.

PassportSummer_2014_pin_US

 

Michael’s, you know the craft store, has a summer crafting program for kids. It’s for kids ages 5 and up held across the country at Michael’s stores. It happens Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting June 16 to August 1st from 10am to 12pm and it’s only $2 per kid.

For me that’s $8 for 2 hours of entertainment for the children. That’s crazy talk because getting them to clean the basement costs me at least $20… and they don’t even like doing that.

This year, Michael’s has partnered with 7 of North America’s best museums to create a museum road trip. Each day, kids will experience culture through crafts with projects inspired by world-class museum exhibits.

Hot damn! I’m signing my kid’s up.

It’s a win win situation. The kids get to learn cool things and they get to craft with crafting professionals at a craft store which will keep the glitter use to a minimum at my house meaning the dinner table will not look like a stripper’s closet threw up on it.

Stages of a Butterfly

We are so going next week, maybe twice so make sure and watch for stories of our experience.

And in the mean time… Good luck to us all. We are gonna need it.

 

 

*I was not compensated to write this post… I was given a gift card to attend the Passport to Imagination program but I would have attended it anyways because kids love crafting and I have to do something with these kids. 

 

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What Are We Going To Do This Summer?

I don’t know about you but I am always on the constant look out for different things to do with my kids. It is my goal every day to exhaust my kids so that there are no bed time battles.

During the school year, I can count on school to help with this but summer is a different story.  Even though summer is a time when we can spend more time outside playing that can only take us so far. My kids crave structure and different activities but I am not made of money so I want to do things with my kids are fun but also inexpensive.

I figured I am not alone in this quest so I thought that I would share some of the ideas that I have come up with so far this summer and maybe you could share some ideas with me because let’s face it, summer is only half over.

  1. The Library. A good place to start to look for fun and most of the time free activities is your local library. I know that our library has weekly story times along with arts and crafts projects.
  2. Tents. Just because it is summer doesn’t mean that there is not going to be a rainy day or two. For us this summer has been full of rainy days so we are stuck inside. Something that I like to do is turn our den into one big tent. We pull sheets out of the cupboards and make a tent that the kids can play in and sometimes we even have a picnic lunch inside it.
  3. The Zoo. Our local zoo is a favorite place of ours. The kids love to go and see all the animals. While we are there we talk about the animals like what they might feel like or what things they eat. Now zoos can be expensive but I like to save money by bringing our own snacks and juice from home and we also buy a yearly membership. By the time we go to the zoo twice, the membership has been paid for.
  4. Balloons. I don’t know about your kids but mine love balloons. They have tons of fun running around and chasing after balloons but summer is a perfect time to make those balloons into water balloons. So I go and get a bag of balloons and fill them with water and the kids and I toss them around the yard and at each other.
  5. The Beach. Summer means spending time at the beach. The sand, the water, the waves, the sun, all those things make it a great place to play and burn off some of that kid energy. Like with the zoo, it is cheaper for us to buy a season pass and when we go, I also bring our own food and drinks so that I don’t have to buy the expensive beach treats.
  6. Ice Cream. Now you could argue that ice cream is good year round and I would have to agree with you but during the summer there is nothing more fun than having ice cream sundaes for dinner. Involve the kids in picking the topping and getting them ready and then eat up.
  7. School Play Ground. During the summer, schools are closed but the play grounds are not. I like to take the kids to the school that Hayden goes to and let them play. Hayden really likes this because he gets to show off his play ground to the younger kids and look like the cool big brother.
  8. Kiddie Pool.  Do you have a small pool that you fill with water for the kids to play in? We do and my kids love to play in it but sometimes to add some more fun, I add bubbles or add tablets to color the water. Both the bubble and the color tablets are really inexpensive and its a great way to make our little pool a little more special and fun.
  9. Sand box. Hayden loves to play and dig around in our ‘sand box’ (we don’t really have a sand box, it is just a place in our yard that we have yet to landscape). One afternoon, I encouraged Hayden to make a city in the sand and then I had the little kids bring out cars and little people to place around the city. The kids had so much fun making their city and placing the cars and people around. They took turns making ‘buildings’ and then stomping them flat to the ground.
  10. Popsicles. These cool treats are a great in the summer but instead of opening a box, spend the afternoon making some instead. I love to involve my kids in things that I am doing in the kitchen and making popsicles is a perfect thing to do in the morning and then we can enjoy them as an afternoon snack.  I really like making these no drip popsicles from Kraft Food and Family magazine.

So those are some of the things that we have done this summer but like I said summer is only half over. What are some of your ideas for some inexpensive summer fun? I really want to know because I don’t think my kids want to watch TV for the rest of summer.

Oh wait….

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