Oh, Summer… we meet again! While everyone in my house is jumping for joy at the idea of no school, the sun coming out to play, the longer days and shorter nights and hassle-free mornings, I’m over here thinking “now what the heck am I going to do with these children”?
Every year it’s the same issue. Almost three months of no school and no structure doesn’t give me ease, and while I know I am doing the YES challenge and should be okay with not planning, the kids being home all summer long can never be a good thing (planned or not).
Most years the kids went to different camps or activities while we worked. However, with them getting older now, they aren’t too excited about going to full-day camps like before and honestly, I want them to do something different as well. Now that we have a third child at home, I also want the three of them to stay together, and bond since Novena (our youngest) doesn’t get to see her siblings all day.
As I was googling some ideas, it dawned on me that I couldn’t be the only mom going through this. Y’all know am all about sharing some good ideas so I put together five things moms can do this summer to keep the kids entertained while keeping themselves sane as well.
This works well for older kids that are tired of doing the same full day camp they did for years, like my children. Bella, my oldest, wants to do cooking camps while Lorenzo is interested in Karate and Baseball. There are also plenty free and fun specified camps for kids during the summer. Apple has by far the best one. Check it out here.
I don’t know about your house, but my kids work much better when they know there are incentives (bad mom moment). They get books and sometimes money in return for chores done around the house. During summer they also have to do school work, read books and provide book reports and practice their sports and piano during the day. This is a great way to keep them off their electronics and from watching television. I like the fact that it’s timed because it gives them structure and they can’t wait until the last minute to get things done.
So many of us live in amazing cities with hidden treasures all over. Take Washington DC for example, even though I grew up in this area, there is still so much I have yet to explore. Summer is the best time to do that, with the longer days and kids being off from school, now is the time to check out all the museums and art galleries or historical sights. We will be going to Mount Vernon this summer since we missed going there during spring break. Most, if not all, the museums in the greater Washington DC area are free. For more ideas on which museums to check out, read our blog post on Spring Break Staycation in Washington D.C.
This is something new my family and I started last year. We decided to make 2017 the year of fishing and tried to fish once a week. The kids loved it (while I hated it- but hey anything for them). This year we will be making it the year of picnics. So we mapped out some local parks we can check out and have picnics at on the weekends.
Also this year, I want to teach the kids Amharic and Tigrinya (the Ethiopian and Eritrean language). We will be having classes on Monday and Wednesday nights. Hopefully this will be one tradition that will go on throughout the year and not just during the summer. Bini does an amazing job teaching them Amharic in the mornings on their way to school.
I know, I know... It’s hot, crowded and expensive… but it doesn’t have to be. Try to find a beach close by to where you live. If the hotels are expensive, try making it a day trip depending on how close it is to where you live or look into an Airbnb. There something about being at the beach as a kid that stays in your memory your whole life. I grew up spending my summers in Eritrea and always remember spending time at the red sea as the best part of my trips. The kids love the water, the sand, and just spending time together as a family. These are memories that will always stick with them.
While I love the idea of keeping my kids busy all summer long, the one thing I have to do and I recommend all moms do as well is keep your expectations low. Some days they will just watch movies on Netflix and that’s okay. After all, it’s their summer; we got to let them relax a little. It can be a lot to have the kids’ home 24/7, a lot on you and a lot on your house (my poor furniture). However, don’t worry Moms… we’ve got this. What’s three months in the grand scheme of things? Actually don’t answer that. LOL
I hope this post helps you or someone you know. As always, I’d love to hear from you. How are you protecting your sanity this summer break? Leave me comments in the feedback section.
Until Next Week.