If I do not make plans to keep my son busy this summer, he will be perfectly content to waste his days watching TV and playing with his DS. So I plan to set up a daily schedule for him.
I have already looked up any information about what is going on in my area this summer, and I've written it all on my calendar. Our local library has quite a bit going on for free- storytellers, crafts, plays, and reading contests. That's all on my calendar.
Local Vacation Bible Schools are on the calendar. Summer school enrichment courses have also been put on the calendar. These courses are fun and educational, will last for 4 weeks and only cost $30.
There is a wonderful nature center which has a summer-full of programs. It costs a bit, but it is well-worth it for the learning enrichment my son gets.
Nearby cities are having some pretty awesome events such as an airshow, a traditional music festival, and a wild west show (this one will cost a bit, but sounds fun). There are many fun festivals all summer and local fairs as well. There is a wonderful free fireworks on July 2nd in Madison and locally on both July 3rd and 4th. They're all on the calendar.
The local hospital has some free classes for kids. My son will be going to one called "Home on Your Own". A grocery store holds free kids-cooking classes once a month (HY-Vee).
We also are trying to fit a vacation into our schedule. The movie theater has reduced price "Summer Flicks" a couple of mornings per week.
Each week, I will post a plan for the week on his door with daily plans listed. If the day does not have a special event planned which takes the whole day, he will be expected to do his chores as well as draw a job from the Job Jar. Some of these jobs will actually be pretty fun for him, such as washing the car or giving the cats a bath (he actually likes this), but some won't be as much fun. When the job is finished, he will get to draw an activity from the activity jar, such as ride your bike, play a game with mom, go to a park, or go swimming. I will take him bowling as much as possible as he can do that for free all summer long (check with your local bowling alley). We love to check out different city parks throughout the summer. Take along a picnic lunch. I will check out free tours- such as a cheese factory.
His grandma loves to take him fishing and sometimes have him overnight. I have some crafts ready to go, like building and painting a birdhouse from a kit and making sock puppets from old socks, and I would also like to teach him some simple cooking on days when it's not too hot to enter the kitchen.
I think the best guideline is to keep your kids busy, especially in the morning. Also remember that they are on summer vacation, so maybe once in awhile, let them have a" do nothing" day. Enjoy them while they are young.
By Sandy from Stoughton, WI
I think it is great how you are planning out all the community free events and adding them to your calendar NOW. I'm always forgetting which weekend the County Fair is and then planning something else. We also go camping with family friends every summer, which is usually inexpensive but fun!
Have a great summer!
Wow! I think I need to tell my friend Linda about this post, she's been trying to figure out what to do with her 13-year-old. Thanks!
I think if you spend time with your children in the morning they get their "Mom dose" that they need and then they are able to spend their afternoons productively and independently.
Camping is an excellent idea, too!
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