Make A Schedule
I love the idea of long, leisurely unscheduled summer days with my two boys…until I’m actually in the trenches. While I’m a proponent of unstructured playtime for my toddler and preschooler, a schedule lets my kids know what is coming up next throughout the day and keeps me organized. I admit scheduling is partly for my own sanity, but also to allow for a smoother transition when the school year resumes. There are many summer schedule examples on Pinterest to give you ideas. You may find that a loose schedule works for your family or something more detailed. Think about your days, what you want to accomplish and what works or doesn’t work for your family. Then write it down! Some families even create a theme for each day of the week- one day designated as craft day, another day designated for field trips, a weekly day for cooking etc. I keep our schedule simple and post it on the refrigerator.
Research Community Activities
Every summer, I search Facebook, YMCA activity guides and local Parks and Rec classes in our area. Do your homework to discover affordable or free activities in your area. Some of my boys’ favorite free summer activities include library visits, El Dorado Broncos baseball and local splash parks. Check out local museums, parks, library events, free outdoor movie nights, farmer’s markets or building clinics for kids at home improvement stores. Kids Bowl Free is a great option for kids to sign up for 2 free games of bowling every day.
Summer Camps and Vacation Bible School
Wichita Moms Blog offers an Ultimate Guide to Wichita Summer Camps. This comprehensive list gives you plenty of ideas without any of the work- all the information about area summer camps is right at your fingertips! Camps, Vacation Bible Schools and summer preschool programs (think shortened preschool programs with more focus on play) will keep your child active and learning throughout summer break. My 5 year-old attends a shortened version of his preschool during the summer for two days each week where he enjoys messy outdoor play and several field trips.
Have A Back Up Plan
Summer means plenty of time for my boys to explore the 5 acres that we live on. Dump truck pushing, frog chasing and fort building can take up entire days when the weather cooperates. But one rainy day can mean I’m left without a plan and high-energy kiddos who keep themselves busy by flushing plastic dinosaurs down the toilet. I always have a box of indoor activities on hand like printable match games, play dough shape mats, paint with water books, color by number and scissor cutting practice sheets for days when outside play isn’t a possibility. While I am all about the free summer fun, I also bought an annual membership to Exploration Place this year, knowing that we always find something new and fun each time we visit and that it will be a lifesaver on rainy days.
How do you survive summer with boys?