Eeek! It’s June and that can mean only one thing… school’s out!!
I know plenty of people who optimistically dread this time of year because they aren’t sure how to fill all of that time with their kiddos and keep their sanity at the same time. It’s not easy and each year, as the kids get older, there are new challenges. So, a few years ago my family started to use one of those great “100 Summer Bucket List” ideas to see how many we could cross out before that big yellow school bus pulls up in front of our house. Here’s the list we’re using this year:
Lists like these are awesome on days when you really lack any kind of motivation to be creative or even get out of the house.
Make cupcakes anyone?? Sure! The kids and I can do that while we wear our jammies ALL DAY!! What’s that? The butterflies are currently in the garden!?! Quick, grab the camera!! Not sure what to do about dinner? Hmmm… I think ice cream is the way to go! Or if you feel like you can’t stand being at home one more second go swimming, or to the park, or to the movies… which brings me to the next way that we fill the summer with fun moments… the movies!
Now my husband and I both work full time and we still have a hard time coming to terms with how much movies cost! We fondly remember the days when a few dollars would get us a movie, popcorn, and soda (not candy though- everyone knows you go to The Dollar Store before the movie and stock up.) So we take advantage of Regal Cinema’s ‘Summer Movie Express.’ Here is the link to this year’s line up:
Sure, the movies they show may be a few years old or maybe you’ve already seen it, but does it matter? Think of how much fun you and the kids will have going to the movies and just chilling out for a few hours. Plus, it’s really hard to say “mom” over and over and over again while eating popcorn. Win, win!
Another way we’re spending some quality time (okay so the kids won’t see it this way) is by doing school work daily.
Three months is a LONG TIME to go without working on their education. Each year I buy a workbook for them to use (only Mondays thru Friday though, I have some compassion). After they eat breakfast, they stay at the table and work in their workbook for 30 minutes. I also have them read each day, which luckily both my kids enjoy reading so there are days that I literally have to force them to put down their books and go outside!
Here are the workbooks we’re using this year (we used the Brain Quest ones last year too and really enjoyed them!)
Now for the dreaded chore chart that we reinstate every summer (muwahahaha). Keeping up with the house, entertaining the kids, having friends over, making a bunch of meals, etc… can all be very daunting. So last summer we sat down with the kids and came up with five chores that they could do daily (or almost every day.) This year, since they’re a bit older, we added two additional chores to each child. This way we get help around the house and don’t feel so overwhelmed AND they learn the value of hard work (which is actually easy work and not so very hard, but you get the picture.) Here’s ours:
To ensure that the kids do their chores we started to pay them twenty cents for each chore completed and if it’s done we add up the amount we should pay them on a fake check registry. This way the kids are working on math skills (sneaky!) Then when we go shopping if they want to purchase something they can use THEIR money they saved up from doing chores. We simply ask them if what they want is worth spending their hard earned cash. If they say it is, then when we get home they subtract that amount from their check registry.
Originally we tried tip jars, and paying them a weekly allowance, but we rarely have the correct change so this was a simple solution that kept everyone happy. To get a check registry you can stop by your local bank or print out ours (just click on the link and print!)
If you have any fun summer suggestions, feel free to share them with me in the comment section below!