With summer in full swing in most parts of the country (we lag a little here in CA), I thought I share a quick and easy idea that I like to use in my house with the kids. Coming up with summer activities for kids and summer activities for teens can be a little difficult. Trying to think of a new and fun summer activity every day can get to be a real chore. I started this little tradition of a Summer Activities Advent several years ago, and let’s just say, it totally changed the way our summer days have gone since. I don’t know about your kids, but mine always want to know what we’re doing. Especially when they were younger, they would com bounding into my room first thing in the morning with an excited “mom! what are we doing today?” ugh. As terrible as it may sound, it used to make me frustrated and a bit angry…mostly because it stressed me out! The constant pressure of feeling like I had to provide fun 24/7 was a bit exhausting.
So, I had this idea, and something magical happened. I discovered that they didn’t expect me to provide constant fun, they were just more interested in knowing that there was something happening that day. It could be a 30 minute activity or a 4 hour activity…it didn’t matter. All that mattered was having something to look forward to.
Here’s all you need:
a calendar (print one out, use a white board, I picked one up at Target for about $5. just make sure that the date squares are about the same size as your post it notes)
mini post it notes (I bought a summer assortment for fun colors)
A list of fun things to do. At the beginning of summer, I like to research free or very low cost activities in my community. Regal cinemas offers dollar movies every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at 10am, Public libraries often have a free weekly program with magicians, balloon artists, etc., activities like getting a slurpee from 7-11, going to the pool, having a friend over, making a craft, water balloon fight, lemonade stand, baking cookies…all fun, relatively inexpensive and fairly easy on mom. Brainstorming with the kids and letting them in on the planning and activity ideas is a fun activity in itself. Have them each write a list of things they would like to do. I only do activities M-F because weekends are usually busy with other fun things.
Write one fun summer activity in pencil on each day. Why in pencil? I do mine in pencil because when you are planning that far out, plans often change. When a friend calls and says…”let’s take the kids to the beach tomorrow” that may not be what’s on my calendar, but I can easily change it and add it in. Simply cover each square with a post-it note to keep it a surprise. To avoid arguments and extra headache for me, I color code mine. I have two kids, so I use two colors of post it notes- blue and pink. Andy knows that when a blue post-it is up next, it’s his turn to pull it off the calendar and reveal that days activity, when it’s a pink one, it’s Ashley’s turn. They aren’t allowed to remove the post it until they are both awake and in the room together.
It has seriously been amazing to see how much easier it has made my life! They don’t hound me anymore about the plan for the day. They know we’re going to do something fun, they know what it is, and when it’s going to happen. It gets us out of the house or doing something fun together and everyone feels like they have had a great day. Even if the activity only takes up a short time, they are happier at home when they have gotten out of the house or done an activity even if just for a few minutes. I hope this helps keep the calm at your house this summer and takes a little pressure off of you to entertain little people all the time! Leave comments about your favorite summer activities and we can share our lists to make our job even easier!
Have a great day!