I started this blog to chronicle my adventures in Surviving the Summer with my two boys, ages (almost) 5 and (almost) 3. And yes, it is a survival. I’m not one of those moms for whom an endless supply of summertime fun ideas comes naturally. I know myself well enough to say that if I wasn’t intentional about planning what my kids are going to do this summer, the next 84 days would go by in a whir and all they’d have to show for it is a few trips to the park, some play dates and lots of TV time logged under their elastic-waist shorts. Not necessarily the skills I’m hoping they show up with for kindergarten and preschool come August.
Let’s be honest here. I can be a lazy mom. In today’s parenting world, it’s so easy to keep your kids entertained with screen time. And I’m guilty of this. Not all the time, but more times than I’d happily admit. Let’s just put it this way — my toddler can skillfully navigate my iPhone and his older brother has won so many games of MarioKart he can now race as his own Mii character (because there are no more Mario characters for him to unlock!!). These are not my proudest achievements as a mom.
News flash: It takes a lot of E-F-F-O-R-T to raise kids! As well as a lot of planning. So I’ve put on my big girl panties and decided to go for it. I recognize I am blessed beyond measure to get to stay home full-time and raise these young knights. During the school year, my oldest has been in pre-K every morning, and the youngest has been in mom’s day out one day a week. What I’m saying is, I’ve had some help in the “keeping ’em entertained” department.
Now it’s my turn (insert evil cackle)! I’m not saying I’m cutting off our umbilicial cord to the TV this summer, but I am going to do a bit of weaning while introducing some hand’s-on fun to our every day routine.
Speaking of routines, have I mentioned that my oldest is OBSESSED with knowing what’s happening next? It drives me nuts. Constant questioning all day of what’s happening next. I blame school. For the past year, his mornings have been broken into planned segments of time (circle time, story time, center time, playground time, etc.). And he thinks life at home must operate the same way, no matter how many times I tell him, “I don’t know what’s happening next?”
So I’ve created a “summer schedule,” as a way to 1) get us organized, and 2) give him something to refer to every time he asks, “Mom, what are we doing next?” I’ll be honest — the schedule is a little monotonous. 7:00 – Wake up, go potty, get dressed, make bed. 7:30 – Eat breakfast, Bible time, clean up dishes. Etc., etc., etc. I’ve planned out his whole week that way, (at least M-F), and posted it eye-level on the refrigerator.
How ever will I fill all those 30 minute time slots from waking to bedtime, you ask? Well, I plan to use this summer to “test” a few mom-kid activities I’ve found online, along with some recommendations from friends. That’s right, you are not likely to find many “original” ideas here. I’m all about plagiarism when it comes to keeping your kids entertained and off the TV.
Come along for the journey. I promise you’ll have fun (and so will I, at least that’s what I keep telling myself).
With 84 days to go,
Leslee, the SurvivorMom