So, what will your children do this summer?

Are you, like me, working out the balance between summer structure and summer spontaneity? 

  • VBS
  • day camps
  • summer schedule
  • no schedule
  • routine
  • no routine
  • how much routine
  • summer school 
  • Learning activities that will prevent their moldable brains from completely disavow all knowledge they have learned over the school year?

The first step is the hardest. Get through the first couple of weeks with these start-of-summer tips, and you’ll be ready for the rest of the hot weather in no time.

19 Ideas for the First Few Weeks of Summer

          Start with the movies:

  1. Take in all the fun with $2 movies!! See the 2019 Malco Theaters Kids Summer Film Fest. If your area doesn’t have Malco, check for summer theater programs in your area. Several theater companies have some sort of summer program.

    2019 Malco theaters Summer film fest

    Set everyone up for a summer education:

  2. Keep some of those papers that are coming home in stacks. Use for practice, review, and correction.
  3. Go to the library and grab a stack of books. Read books aloud to your child that are above their grade level and challenge them with chapter books a little longer than what they have read. Take turns reading chapters and talking about the story together. If your child is a pre-reader or is just beginning to read, stock up on Dr. Seuss and simple readers from your library and do lots of reading and rereading each day.
  4. Purchase simple, write-in/sketch activity books for your child’s grade level. These often contain math, reading, and writing skill practice; fun mazes and puzzles, and drawing activities. Use them for long summer days, rainy days, and road trips. You can find these cheap in the bargain books section of Barnes and Noble and sometimes at local gas stations/truck stops.
  5. Take a hike.


    On a hike. Going off trail.



  6.  Have your child practice counting coins and bills and making change with cash when purchasing summer treats like snow cones and ice cream.

  7. Stock up on sidewalk chalk. Let those boys and girls write and draw and spell all over. Toss in a few math facts on the driveway here and there.

    Chores (and other fun):

  8. Give your child the opportunity to earn money by coming up with over-and-above jobs they can do at home.
  9. Make this homemade sprinkler with your children using one pool noodle. Easiest, cheapest DIY ever. Takes about five to ten minutes. Lasts all summer. One summer, my boys hung it from the deck so it sprayed out above them.

  10. Sort out papers from the school year (see #1), keep the cool stories your children wrote and artwork they are proud of and any papers where your children traced their handprints. Put those in a book or binder or journal. If this kind of thing stresses you out, throw on a movie.
  11. Print off pictures and let your child scrapbook the school year with some of their other papers and photos and art. Look through all the yearbooks.
  12. For young children, make sure you’ve taught them these chores around the house.
  13. Also, make sure you’re saving household materials for fun activities over the summer

    Enjoy the change of routine:

  14. Establish daily downtime.
  15. Teach your children how to prepare a simple breakfast when you’re not having to rush out the door for school. Designate a day of the week for them to take on this responsibility. Could be as simple as warming up pancakes, or something a little more challenging: scrambled eggs, maybe? My 10-year old is now scrambling the eggs. And I’m lovin’ it!
  16. Ride bikes somewhere you might normally take a car. This is a good time to brush up on bike rules and safety, including hand signals.

  17. Get your children to a pool for swimming practice before they take swimming lessons or go camping.
  18. Make a bucket list together of things you and your children would like to do over the summer.

  19. Or, you can always do this to establish that children WILL BE OUTSIDE somes of the time. On their own. Without you. #fistbumptoallthemomsanddads

Summer on, parents.

pixabay bike photo by copiis

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