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Making Summer Fun: For Both Mom and Kids

So here’s the thing about Summer…

It’s awesome and it’s awful all at once.

Maybe I’m exaggerating, but maybe I’m not.

Making Summer Fun (ner)

I love summer because the chaotic schedule loosens up. I love summer because it is warmer than January. I love summer because it means there is more time available during the day to spend with my kids.

And also more time to spend with food that is barbecued.

Then again, a lax schedule and three kids who are used to going, going, going means there are three sets of eyes on me to set the tone for this non-schedule. Sometimes a dozen sets of eyes.

You know, playdates and such.

Maybe you have it all ironed out… If you do, I APPLAUD YOU. I am not even exaggerating.

But I am jealous. I do not have it all ironed out. Hitherhencetofore – strategery.

The Summer List

Making Summer Fun: Summer List

I found a HUGEMONDO chalkboard at Value Village .

The purpose of the summer list is to write down the things the family wants to do (or things you want to force think your family wants to do).

At the beginning of summer my family has lots of ideas and hopes for what we’d like to do… but the days tend to FLY by, and before we know it our opportunities for making fun summer memories are gone.

It goes so fast. We need to be intentional. A list helps. It helps the family (actually, ME) not lose sight of taking advantage of the very few months we have.

My tips for making YOUR family summer list:

  • • Be the guide. Be ready with your own ideas when you come together. It’s funny how throwing in a simple activity, but one that is not a usual activity gets the kids excited. I don’t want our list-making time to be filled with, “No, we can’t do that… no… no…”
  • • Only place things on the list you think you will/can really do. Ooooootherwise (speaking from experience – this is not the first time we’ve had a summer list) your kids will remind you all the rest of your years how you didn’t do that one thing. And then it will probably come up in their adult therapy sessions.
  • • Having a list doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of/any money. In fact, the best lists feature creativity and adventure… not spending money.

Another issue with Summer is the battle with screen time.

#TheStruggleIsReal, y’all.

One evening my husband and I were talking about the issue of devices and screen time. We talked about the idea of keeping our mobile devices in one spot to create times where ALL of us are device (and screen) free. Of course we can’t plop a television in a basket, but all 3 kids have their own device. The devices are much more of a struggle than television has ever been.

So when I went to Value Village the last time, I looked for a basket to park those mobile devices.

I found this:

Making Summer Fun: Electronics Basket

My daughter suggested, “PAINT IT BLUE!”. I was all, “GREAT IDEA!”

Making Summer Fun: Electronics Basket

Making Summer Fun: Electronics Basket

So. Make a summer list. On a repurposed chalk board. On a piece of paper!

Create a space in your home (an old basket, or your kitchen counter) to park those devices so you and your family can focus on each other.

Another idea? Make a Boredom Buster Jar! That idea was featured in a segment on New Day Northwest, but it’s not on the site anymore. Good thing I have it on mine!

Alrighty friends! Cheers to summer days and summer nights. Hoping we can all take advantage of the sunshine and looser schedule and create some fun for your family… Which makes me wonder –  What helps your family not only make it through the summer, but get you to the end of it feeling like you made the most of it?

*Originally shared June 2014*

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