We have the freezer stocked with frozen treats, books out, prize box filled, and just days left until summer vacation! We’re planning lots of downtime, but even constant downtime needs a plan. Otherwise, everyone can go a little batty very quickly!
Here are ten ideas for your summer down time:
1. Plan a Service Project:
Kick off the summer with a group service project: One year we invited friends over and partnered with Craft Hope in making bracelets for orphanages in Russia.
You may also choose a local recipient. The following year we made suncatchers and visited the elderly in a local nursing home.
2. Go Camping:
Camping is a must in Wyoming, along with other trips you may have planned. But even if you’re in a season of life where camping is not possible, pitch a tent in your backyard.
3. Create Your Own Summer Reading Program:
We'll read all summer long, but will have a special three week incentive program. I got the idea for it last year here. Our kids love this porgram because they get to pick a prize every day. But also because they really do get immersed in the reading they/we do. If a prize a day doesn’t work for you, stretch it out over the summer, tallying up points to cash in. The ideas are endless!
I've chosen the first section of the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, for the children to memorize over the summer. How far they get will be determined by each one's age. If it helps, incentives for this might be a ticket for a date with mom, a date with dad, invite a friend over to play, etc. That way we're working in that quality time that we desire to make time for, too!
5. Do a Nature Study:
Learn about trees and flowers, bugs and birds all around your neighborhood and community. I found this great resource for doing a nature study here.
6. Conduct a Science Experiment:
Summer is a great time to pull out a science book and get a little messy. Make it a weekly adventure!
7. Coordinate Neighborhood Games:
Remember how we used to do that, as kids? If there are other families with children in your neighborhood, invite friends over to play a little soccer or kickball! If not, invite friends to a park for a ball game.
8. Keep Math Fresh:
Rather than children forgetting so much of what they’ve learned this year over summer break, keep it fresh and fun with some math games (or games of any subject, for that matter).
9. Plan Plenty of Water Fun:
Summer gets busy and flies by, so if you can’t get to the pool often enough, turn on the sprinkler in your backyard or have a water fight!
10. Start a Lemonade Stand:
Allow your children to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills by learning the value of the dollar, not to mention, their communication and leadership skills!
I like to take advantage of time together over the summer so we try to keep individual activities to a minimum. I love to see the relationships of my children grow and imaginations soar when they have books to stimulate their imagination and time for uninterrupted play–to act out all of their new adventures.
Summer time around here is a time of relaxation and fun with a little structure to keep everyone in the know as to what to expect, as the days can run into each other easily and quickly without a plan.
We hope to fit in plenty of reading, exploration, playing in our backyard, parks with friends, tennis with grandpa, and getting wet with cousins A LOT!
I am a believer in making a plan and then working it out flexibly. So go jot down some ideas and have a great summer!
Check out these great sites for more fun ideas for your summer:
67 Ideas For Fun and Learning This Summer
Summer Bucket List and Free Printables
Summer Activities For Kids
...Encouraging Moms of Today's Generation.
I believe God gives us tiny glimpses of heaven everyday, particularly within the context of our marriage and, if so blessed, our children. Although this earthly road we travel may prove difficult, when we persevere with eyes on Christ, he is faithful to shower our hearts with heavenly glimpses. (Learn more about Theresa here.)