The end of the school year is upon us, and with it comes the mad rush of graduation, field days, teacher appreciations, sports banquets and bridging ceremonies that will fill every waking moment we have. In my house, the kids are counting down the days left with an excitement typically only reserved for that jolly guy in December.
I’m dreading summer vacation.
Don’t get me wrong. I love not having to wake up at 6 a.m. just so I can get a shower and have a few moments of peace and quiet before the madness of the morning routine begins. But after the first week of vacation, the kids are restless and expect to be entertained every minute of every day.
Because moms have nothing better to do, right?
In these few weeks before school lets out officially, I’m preparing myself for the onslaught of, “I’m bored,” that comes hand-in-hand with too much time on their hands. Here are a few suggestions that are sure-fired remedies in my house. Hopefully they will work in yours!
B – Build. Build a fort from cardboard, blankets, etc., either inside or outside, and have it be their secret place for the day. Depending on where it is, I might even let them sleep in it that night.
O – Original artwork and crafts. At 9 and 6, my girls are young enough that they are still intrigued with new arts and crafts supplies. Nothing keeps their imagination flowing more than craft projects involving gluing, beads or paint.
R – Reading. We are scheduling a trip to our local library one day a week. It’ll be Library Day on the schedule, so they have something to look forward to, and each kid can check out as many books as they want. But everything they take home they are READING, from start to finish, in the next week. At least 20 minutes a day, every day.
E – Entertainment. The $1 movie theater in our town is a lifesaver. Want a trip to the movies? Grab a dust rag or the vacuum, and let’s get a chore done first. The summer is a great time to teach them the value of earning some money to do the fun things. Movie tip: Going right after breakfast or lunch will cut down on the requests for popcorn and snacks.
D – Dream. Have them dream up their own movie or play, and enlist siblings, parents and friends to help write, direct and star in it. Putting on a performance of any kind for an audience always involves hours of costume and script development.
If all else fails, there’s always summer camp.