School is done for another year!
My son left the house this morning for his last day of grade two, and by 3:30, bounced through the door a third grader. It’s like magic, only more bittersweet. When did he get so big?
The summer lies ahead…weeks of free time, relaxed mornings and lunches eaten ‘round our dining room table rather than out of a lunch kit. Ahhh, it sounds wonderful.
Until, you know, next week when my kid runs out of things to do by Monday at noon and we suddenly realize…oh dear. Two months off of school is a wonderful thing, but as a parent, I know better than to face it unprepared.
So prepare I did, by setting up some holiday time for us as a family as well as a few weeks of mornings camps for my son. I remember how long the days can be, and how much fun he has when he’s off doing something new and meeting new friends.
And I have a few little shopping trips planned to make to make sure I have a few surprises up my sleeve. Alone, thank you very much, isn’t it so much easier to shop without the kids? I love to just spring things on them, out of the blue. They get so excited over whatever the new toy or item is, and they don’t get distracted by other things at the store that are perhaps less appropriate (bikes that are too big, guns we might not approve of, etc.) This works for us because our kids both love surprises, are easily pleased by things and don’t tend to have a list of “wants” on the go. They’re still young, so they’re happy with whatever we choose. For me, nothing ruins an outing more than having them be disappointed over being told “no” over toys they never would have known about otherwise!
It’s also fun pulling things out that have been tucked away but are now just right for our youngest. She’s as thrilled with each toy as our son was when we first bought them, and that’s a nice feeling.
We’ll be sure to spend plenty of time outside, and our son will be spending time on his bike, scooter and a ride-on tractor we bought him a couple of years ago that he loves. He loves to help his dad in the garage, and has his own tools and work gloves to tackle any project that might come up. I am sure he’ll want to help me in the garden. And we have a good assortment of toys to keep them both entertained: sandbox, slide, big totes full of buckets, shovels, sand toys, bubble blowers, etc. Other favourites include miniature versions of whatever we are using: a toy lawnmower, tools, gardening supplies. And there’s nothing the kids like better than a really hot day and a pair of super soakers!
I’m also going to try a new idea: this summer I will be sure to keep a box in my trunk with a blanket, bug spray, a ball, perhaps a couple of pails and shovels, bubble blowers. This is all we took with us when we went away last summer and it was amazing how much play the kids can get out of a few simple items. This way we’ll be ready if we pass an interesting park, or find some open space to play unexpectedly. I’ll also be filling their water bottles before we leave the house on our free days. I’ll love saying “yes!” when they point at a great new park we’ve never seen.
For cooler or rainy days, I have a list of ideas to keep us busy – one that I made up over a few days when I didn’t have a kid standing in front of me waiting for inspiration. We’ll keep busy with new toys, books and indoor projects when the weather doesn’t cooperate.
I think our summer will be a great balance of scheduled time and relaxed goofing off. A little bit of both is good for kids, and parents too!
How will you be spending the summer? Away or busy at home?
How will you entertain the kiddies when they are at home and not busy with camps or activities? Are there certain outdoor toys that are their favourites? I’d love to know what your kids love to do at your house!
Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.