Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sizzling Summer Fun!

It’s Here! Summer is upon us and is a wonderful time to build meaningful family memories. I want to use the Positive Moms blog to give you fun family tips to make it a tremendous time with the kids. Summer typically means a change in schedule and routine. It means hot days and more family togetherness. It also means some possible family vacations. Let’s make it great for everyone involved including you!

I like to begin summer with a bang to help the kids get excited about the possibilities as well as some of the different routine and rules that may need to be in place. After school officially lets out, plan a pancake breakfast to celebrate the new summer schedule. Allow the kids to see your excitement for the potential that summer holds for you as a family. Here are some of the topics I suggest you discuss over pancakes.

Summer Schedule – make a poster board with a general daily schedule. Include how much computer and television time is allowed. Talk about places you want to go and things you want to see during the summer. For younger kids, include a time each day to just lay low. I called it FOB (flat on back or flat on bunk) and it was a time for everyone just to stay on their bed to read, listen to music, rest and think. We all need down time, especially mom, and it helps to write it into the daily routine.

Boredom Busters – Tell the kids that the word “bored” is banned from your family. Boredom is only experienced by people who are not using their creative talents to think of something to do. And there is always something to do. Each summer we created a Boredom Buster can (a coffee can wrapped with construction paper)and inside the can we placed index cards on which we wrote ideas of things we could do when we felt the B-word (boredom) coming on. If ever anyone felt bored, they could go to the can and pick out one of the possible activities. We wrote things like shoot hoops, draw pictures, call a friend, roller blade, play in the sprinklers, make a tent fort, read, etc…

Learn and Earn - Talk about saving up money to go to an amusement park or Friday movies or to the dollar stores. Determine an age-appropriate system to help your kids earn money. Teach them how to save at least 10% and give at least 10%. Help them to learn wise ways to spend their hard-earned money. Summer can also be a good time to improve on some basic math and reading skills. Make time each day for reading to the kids. Choose some books that you will enjoy listening to together as a family. I would encourage you to consider the Chronicles of Narnia or Little House on the Prairie series depending on the age of your kids. Make or purchase math flash cards or work books and set aside a little time each week to work on them together. Learn a language together using flash cards or CDs. This is a time to enjoy learning with the kids. As they catch your love for learning, they will be inspired.

Travel Tips and Theme weeks – Next week’s blog will contain wise travel tips to make the most of your family vacations. The following week we will take a look at Theme Weeks and how they can make your summer sail by. Be sure to read my Memorial Day blog at: