Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer Vacation

I cannot believe that the end of the school year is almost here. Wednesday is officially the last day of school, and I am starting to freak out.

My seven-year-old is getting restless and bored at the mere thought of summer vacation, and wants to go on vacations, and to camp, and to go stay at a friend of ours for two weeks as his mini vacation. Although some of these might sound like great ideas, there is no way we can swing any of those ideas, financially.

My four year old has been officially accepted into full day preschool (which starts in August!), and it feels as if she has been acting so horribly since we received the paper- there are no words. Screaming, crying, hitting, tormenting her brother.. Brian calls it payback, but I need your help.

How on earth do you survive summer vacation?


Susan June 04, 2010  

Gosh it's been so many years ago, mine are all grown up. But if it makes you feel any better, well grown children come with a set of problems all their own.
But I guess routine is what really can help. Go to the park, get a wading pool. Go on bike rides, and give them some chores. And of yes, don't forget vacation bible school, that is not only good for them but gives you a small break in the morning anyway. Good luck.


Anonymous,  June 05, 2010  

This year? It's going to be all about Nintendo Wii. And air conditioning for the pregnant mama. :X You know who I am. I'm keeping it anonymous because I am ashamed to say the video game will rule the summer.

lfhpueblo June 05, 2010  

I agree about the Vacation Bible School and there's no reason they can't attend more than one church's Vacation Bible School if they are in the same faith as yours.
Let them camp in the backyard. Go on nature hikes in your own area, with a list of items they need to try to find, or take photo's of.
Have them make the items into a scrapbook using materials that you already have on hand. Example, maybe an old book that you have that you no longer want that they can glue leaves, pressed flowers, or photo's onto. Maybe even trash to show how some people don't keep our earth clean and just throw their trash around. You could scrapbook in a gum wrapper for example. Inside the front and back cover of the book you could write or they could write a brief description of the day.
Are there free days at your local park swimming pools or free zoo days?
You might check with your fire department and see if they are giving tours for kids during the summer months.
Plan something special for the fourth of July. Have your children start coloring and making homemade placemats for that day in advance.
Keep them busy with chores.
Does your child play an instrument?
Do you have any musical instrument that you haven't played in a long time, but could start teaching them some of the basics on, or do you know someone around you who does and you can trade some babysitting in exchange for music lessons for your child. Boys tend to like guitars, but some like any instrument.
As far as kids picking on each other in the summer, if you have more than one, it's going to happen. Just have rules and enforce them to keep down the craziness.
Hang in there. It may be hard when money is tight, but it's not impossible.
My mom and dad were very poor with five of us kids. In the summer my mom every Friday would make us walk with her to the Library. The Library, no lie was seven miles one way from our home. So we walked over probably 15 miles on each Friday to return and get more Library books. Because we walked around the Library. Our mom always took a canteen with us in case we needed some water to drink on our long walk.
On Wednesdays we walked to the park and had picnic lunches and played frisbee or horseshoes, and played on the toys at the park too.
I think mom tried to tire us out so we'd be too tired to misbehave at Wednesday night services at Church, and also so we'd be good and tired on Friday night so we wouldn't get on my Dad's nerves.

Linda Carlson, Parenting Press June 09, 2010  

In the Parenting Press monthly, "News for Parents," I'm doing a series of dozens and dozens and dozens of ideas for summer. It actually started in May ( with "Teens, Tweens and Summer Break" and continued this month ( with ideas for a wider range of kids, including tots. Here's an excerpt:

Kids of almost every age can stitch, knit or crochet. Your preschoolers can thread shoelaces or ribbon through holes punched in cardboard or the commercially available lacing cards. Slightly older kids can stitch felt shapes together with a crewel needle.

Elementary age children can use craft felt or remnants of wool felt to create critters to dangle from their backpacks and book bags with books like Nelly Pailloux’s Felties: How to Make 18 Cute and Fuzzy Friends (Andrews McMeel).
Just as adaptable are the needle-felted characters shown in Wool Toys and Friends: Step-by-Step Instructions for Needle-Felting Fun by Laurie Sharp (Creative Publishing).

Speaking of craft circles, consider helping your kids organize a “needles circle” for summer vacation. Get together a couple of times a week to crochet, knit, needle-felt or decorate jeans jackets with appliques and beads.

Complicate the Simple

Get out the marble chase, scraps of PVC pipe, wrapping paper and foil wrap tubes, string, and tape and see how you can solve a simple problem with a deliberately over-engineered machine. Kids will be following the example set by the late cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg, who created chain reactions that performed simple tasks in complex fashion.

Get Dolled Up

Photograph your kids and their friends in swimsuits and print out the head-to-toe images on stiff paper that turns the kids into paper dolls.

Stamp It Out

You’ll find dozens of books and web sites about stamp collecting, and you can get your kids interested in stamp art by letting them have whatever stamps come on each day’s mail.

Catch the Wind

Babies and toddlers won’t be able to create pinwheels, but they’re sure to enjoy seeing the wind twirl the paper, especially if you use brightly colored paper.

Kids who are old enough to use power tools with adult supervision can catch the wind’s energy with whirligigs, action figures powered by wind-driven propellers, a folk art form that evolved from weathervanes.

Other projects for crafty kids:

Button people. Dump out those jars of old buttons and string them into marionettes, more backpack decorations, or key rings.

Tie-dye. Kindergarten-age kids may not be able to knot fabric as tightly as needed for the best tie-dye patterns, but they are sure to be surprised when the first rubber band or string is cut and they see how an old white T-shirt has been transformed with a little dye.

Give the kids aprons, paper toques, wooden spoons and turn ‘em loose in the kitchen! Well, maybe not quite, but remember that such school curricula as Montessori gets kids cooking very young.

Lauren @4BabyAndMom June 15, 2010  

Woah. Thanks ladies for all of your totally awesome suggestions. I love the camping in the backyard and making a scrapbook idea.. and so many of the others. I agree a routine helps with keeping consistency.

Thanks for sharing this with me!!!

kaboogie July 07, 2010  

Wow! SO many good comments! By now your summer has probably settled down a bit, I hope you've found ways to keep them busy without breaking the bank. We have a community center near here that offers sports free. Library time, story time, craft times, all help. We make lake trips a regular thing, twice a week.
I find that whenever there's change, my kids get wiggy for a while, then they "chill". When it gets REALLY ugly, I hook hoses up arund the house, and let them spray each other silly :-)


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