Tuesday, May 24, 2011

an intentional summer

summer is a season of relaxation, juicy fruit, later nights, and unleashed fun. but for summer to be successful in these things, we must be intentional about it. plan. prepare. research. be ready to say yes. be ready to go.

how to have an intentional summer:

1. print out hours, maps, and admission fees to your favorite summer hotspots: the water park, museum, indoor playground, amusement park, libraries, and others. store all of this helpful info in a folder or notebook and keep it somewhere accessible - like in the car. you could also store all this info on your phone if you're techy like that.

2. make a list of free or cheap, local, fun outings. our city has a handful of playgrounds with "splash pads" -interactive water sprinklers for the kids. we like to pack a picnic and spend hours there! some movie theaters have free summer kids movie programs. Barnes and Noble has a free storytime on certain days. Gorbella's has free playdates every Monday morning. our local Chick-Fil-A has a special activity for kids twice a month. check what your city offers- our local amphitheater has free summer concerts for children! and don't forget about state parks, which are often free or cheap to get in. more ideas here.

3. make a list of at-home fun. summer days are long. but you don't have to leave the house to have a good time. there is a lot of fun to be had at home. build a blanket fort. bubble-blowing contest. make snowcones. ride bikes. play in the waterhose (or swim if you have a pool). sidewalk chalk mural. Shrinky-Dinks. Play-Doh. watercolor. send a postcard to a friend. sock puppets. paint rocks. bake cookies. video games. make flubber. the list goes on and on. make it. trust me, you'll use it.

4. make summer candy. this is a cool concept that will keep your summer exciting. using your list of free/cheap outings + your list of at-home fun, make this pretty bowl of "summer candy" (with free printable!) or go super simple with this nifty checklist.

5. bridge the school year. what i mean by this is keep teaching your children and encourage reading even in the summer. the libraries and book stores offer free summer reading programs, some with awesome prizes at the end. take advantage! summer is relaxing, yes, but it doesn't have to be brain-mush time. if you homeschool, consider working in a few days a week of school work and getting a jump start on next year's work.
6. get your summer "go" bag ready. (and get a pretty one!) this is the bag you will tote around all summer long. my summer bag has sunscreen, insect repellent, activity ID cards or season passes, a mini first aid kit with hand sanitizer and ear drops, swim diapers, wipes, and room for towels and a change of clothes for swim days. i also toss in snacks and bottles of water as we go, a coin purse, the book i'm reading, and a few water-safe toys.

7. make the most of it! enjoy the season! take pictures. put your feet up. paint your toenails. read a book. don't do laundry for a day. eat off of paper plates. take a hiatus from Facebook. invite friends over for homemade popsicles. have an intentional summer!


photos from Flickr photographers: hayguurlhay, Maharepa, Seenu, 8 Days A Week, MamaHall, Jolijou, and ioveitwhenyouspyonme