With wisps of scented trees, bees at work in the gardens, and projects due at school, I realized it was time to really think through what we want out of this summer. When one boy left behind kids’ shoe sizes for good, and the other sprouted whiskers, I suddenly felt the slippery slope of time racing forward a bit too fast. Can you relate?
So how do you put on the brakes, without hampering your family’s progress or running up a hefty tab for summer camps?
Here are three key steps to create a more satisfying and meaningful summer plan.
Evaluate your dreams for the weeks ahead.
Perhaps you have some work commitments, and with those are accustomed to setting goals and deadlines. Try treating your current kids’ ages as a benchmark for some of your summer plans. Is time going too fast? Where can you unplug and laugh with them? Where will the word “no” be used less? Wherever that is, it’s a great option. Craft a week or two in a place where joy has room to bubble forth.
Look at their life-skills and see what’s lacking.
Is it important for your kids to know how to put up a tent and light a fire? Are they facing bullies in school and need to up their self-defense knowledge? Are they always so serious that it’s time to be silly? Check out their individual knowledge and seek opportunities to grow at least one new skill this summer. For example, we want our older son to know some basic survival skills, so he’ll get to pitch tents, light fires, aim arrows, and more at Scout camp.
Increase your fun bank account.
I’m intentionally leaving a few weeks without a lot of plans. My kids work hard during the year and I’d like to say “yes” to play times, flying kites, trips to the beach, painting together, or maybe explore a new exhibit about things that interest them. I can create pockets of fun just by being dialed into their interests and seeing what’s in town. For example, if there’s something new at the local science museum or within a one to two-hour driving radius, we’ll consider it. Some museums have free Thursdays so that helps with the budget, too. But nothing is possible if I don’t leave space for fun to fill in the gaps.
What are you planning for this summer? I’d love to hear your ideas, too!