Summer vacation is just around the corner—a thought that sends both thrills and chills down any parent’s spine. It’s a season for making wonderful memories, to be sure. But without a game plan, keeping kids busy for three months can be a challenge.
Construction paper tulips and a little planning ahead can help you fight summer boredom, keep the kids active and make lasting memories. Here’s how:
Making “spring tulips” is easy and fun for any family to do. First, cut out a few dozen tulips or other flowers out of construction paper. The flowers should be 3 to 4 inches long—big enough to write a few words on them. Find a prominent place on the wall or refrigerator to hang them.
On each flower, write down a fun summer activity your family wants to do. Involve the whole family in brainstorming ideas as summer approaches—talk about it at dinner or when you tuck the little ones in bed. This is a great mental escape, especially if spring rains are keeping you indoors.
Activities can be as complicated as taking a cruise or as basic as playing with water balloons in the backyard. Often, the simpler the idea the better. And the more flowers, the greater the fun.
Once you have all your spring tulips filled out, tape them up. Ideally, you should display them just before summer vacation begins.
You’ll find this flower garden to be a wealth of learning in the spring—and an inspiration over the summer. For kids of all ages, this provides experience with planning ahead, goal setting and tracking accomplishments. It’s a fun activity that it will motivate them to brainstorm, be creative and voice their opinions.
You’ll also learn that this garden is indispensable when inevitable summer boredom sets in. Instead of having to remind your kids of all the toys they have to play with, you can simply prompt them to “stroll” through the flowers and “pluck” an activity they would like to enjoy.
As each activity is completed, take the flower down and tuck it away into a photo album or scrapbook. In the end, you’ll have a stack of reminders of the summer—which always seems to disappear too fast. You might even look back on summer vacation with renewed appreciation, as your family finds ways to enjoy every minute of the time you have together. Linda Kozlowski