Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer is Here!

Summer officially began at our house about 9 days ago. That's when the kiddos finished school and our routine went out the window. I was enjoying it for the first couple of days. Now I understand why some parents sign their kids up for a gazillion activities during the Summer!

But we decided long ago that our approach would be different. I used to feel a spirit of jealousy and competitiveness when other moms would tell me of all the activities their kids were participating in. "We're in soccer, t-ball, swimming, dance, and gymnastics." I used to think we were depriving our kids of learning new skills. But then I realized that we aren't in this "parenting and family" thing to see how many skills our kids can learn. And not to mention all the driving around to/from practices and the stress and overload put on the kids. We're in this "parenting and family" thing to teach love and character. To us, these are lifelong skills that are so much more important.

So our Summer is not filled with tons of scheduled activities. I believe our kids need to learn to entertain themselves through imaginative play. They need to have friends over to learn social skills, and they need to just have fun. Yes, I do have days when I'm lacking in the patience department and wish a camp would suddenly show up at my door and whisk the kids away for an hour or two. But I have to stop looking at the short-term and remember the long-term.

To fill our days so far we've been:

~ garage saleing (is this a word?). The kids love it and go prepared with their own zipper pouch of money. They're learning the different coins (dime, nickel, etc.) and their worth. They're learning to interact with others and the process of paying for your items.

~ running through the sprinkler and swimming.

~ gardening. The kids have loved planting our vegetables, watering them and watching them grow. We're enjoying our strawberries right now.

~ reading. We're joining our library's book club this week as well. This is great because they offer all kinds of weekly prizes for meeting your reading goal.

~ crafting. The kids are really into making cards for people. We use everything from ribbon to paint to candy on them.

~ playing at different parks. We have tons and tons of parks all within a half hour of us. I'm trying to pick a new park for us every week. It's free, fun and even better when we pack a picnic lunch!

~ bike riding. More on this to come in my next post!!!

I would love to hear other people's ideas for creative Summer activities. Please leave me a comment with your suggestions.

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