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School’s Out – Now What?

Jun 05, 2011

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pI love summertime. I love the lack of schedule for the kids, the absence of homework, and the freedom from packing lunches. I love the smell of sunscreen and bug spray, and I love the taste of sweet tea on a hot day./p
pBut what I don’t always love is the “Mom, I’m bored,” complaints and the way food disappears the instant it’s brought home from the store. The days can get awfully long for the kids (and moms) when you don’t have a plan for dealing with the summertime challenges./p
pMy kids are all big now, but I can’t lie to you and tell you that they never watched too much TV or ate too much junk food. They probably did. And to be honest, I was probably grateful for the reruns and cartoons that helped fill some of those days./p
pOK, not “probably.” I WAS grateful, are you kidding?? ha/p
pBut to fight the boredom factor, one thing I used to do (when my kids were elementary age) was to make a calendar and put a few things on it so they’d have something to look forward to each week. For several years, we did a “Fun Friday” craft or outing, in which we invited neighborhood kids to join us. The kids helped with preparation and planning in the days prior to each Friday and then helped make the event fun for everyone. It was just enough of a plan to help them see that every day couldn’t be a “Fun Friday day” (too exhausting) and helped me not put off doing special things with them. We did things like tie-dye T-shirts, had water-balloon fights, pool parties, and painted birdhouses. All easy and inexpensive, just my kind of thing./p
pThere were a couple of summers in which my kids put on plays. They wrote scripts, made props and costumes and invited the neighbors to the performances. It was serious theatre, folks. Wow, those were some good times…and great memories./p
pNow that school is out, what do YOU do with your kids all summer? Do you find camps or Vacation Bible Schools to fill up those long weeks? What are your favorite snack foods to have on hand? We’d love to hear your ideas and experiences so that we can make the most of these weeks of summer with our kids. I know Priscilla will especially appreciate your advice right about now :). With three busy boys and a big age range (2-8), her work is cut out for her!/p
pRachel /p