I am really looking forward to this summer. It is going to be a season of firsts for our whole family.
When my son was 9 months old, I returned to work and he went into daycare year-round. Come May, he will graduate from his Pre-K program and head to Kindergarten in the Fall. In this last couple years, my husband and I have made some sacrifices and I have been blessed to be home full time, so we are going to have our first summer break together.
I’ll admit I have been a little apprehensive about how to keep the kids busy and keep the fighting at a minimum. So, I have done a little planning and wanted to share some of my summer ideas with you!
I also want to hear what your plans are for the summer!
Budget Friendly Plans
You may have seen pictures online where a husband/dad comes home to find a note and some water balloons or water pistol waiting for him on the porch. I am looking forward to putting this idea into practice and letting the kids get involved. Not only is this cost effective (especially if you already have water pistols lying around) but it is a chance for the whole family to have time together laughing. It also lets the kids run out some of that late afternoon energy with daddy.
I have also promised the kids that we will do a beach trip this year. My husband and I are not avid beach goers normally, but seeing as we live on the coast, it only makes sense to take advantage of the local beaches to keep the kids occupied. (And this keeps me motivated to stick with my health and fitness routine… Bonus.)
And of course, we plan on lots of park trips. Since summers can get hot here, I plan to scout out the local Portland community parks with plenty of shade and carry lots of water with us.
Letting the Kids Try New Things
I am probably most excited about introducing our kids to new activities this summer and seeing what interests them, or which activities they excel at. The first on my list is swim lessons! Ideally, I would have done this when they were smaller, but they both had to have tubes in their ears and I was always afraid they would not wear the ear protection in the water so I waited for their ENT doctor to give us the all clear on swimming. Since we are in Portland I plan on going to the Portland Aquatic Center for lessons with both kids. They have not posted this summer’s information yet, but details will be online soon.
The new activity my husband is most excited about is Karate for our son. We went to the local Tiger-Rock Martial Arts to learn more about their Tiger Cubs program, I love that they teach through play and that they teach about “stranger danger” and ways to protect themselves. Unfortunately, this is something that as parents we have to think about, what happens if I am not there and the worst-case scenario happens? Will they have the skills or knowledge to protect themselves or avoid that situation altogether? This is probably the highest price activity on our summer plans so far, but I feel like the benefits are worth the investment.
Cooking up Fun for the Summer
Since I am trying to keep us pretty occupied this summer, I know that a family meal at the end of the day will be the perfect opportunity to recap and fill daddy in on anything he may have missed while at work. I have learned that, with my kids, the more involved they are with making or picking dinner, the more likely they are to eat it without much prompting. This means putting things on our meal plans that the kids can get involved with more. I am most likely going to find a fun kids cookbook to help us try new things rather than default to pizza and spaghetti every week. I’ll admit I am not the most patient in the kitchen and I fully expect to reconsider this idea several times over the summer, but I will do my best to stick it out and will try to share the results of our meals!
What meals do you and your kids make together?
I feel like I have jam packed our summer, but my goal is to have two worn out and happy kids at the end of each day. I imagine we will have one or two veg out days a week, but most days I want us to be on the go.