Nine long months of school have ended and as a mom you finally get to stop spending your days dropping off and picking up your kids from various schools and programs. Your hours of sitting in crowded, cranky carpool lines gave you plenty of time to imagine and long for the lazy, restful days of summer.
Surprise! After three days of sleeping in and playing in the sprinkler, the little ones are clamoring around your ankles saying they are bored. They want you to entertain them. Every single toy in the toy box is boring and old.
Or you get up to the sound of video games playing and need to pry their little fingers out of the controls in order to interrupt them for lunch at noon. After swallowing their food, it’s right back to the TV and more games or videos until dinnertime. Something is terribly wrong with this summer time picture.
What can you do? What should you do? Some ideas to help get your summer turned into a real memory maker:
• Challenge your older kids to set up a treasure hunt for the younger ones. Using a yard map and silly clues they can lead their siblings to a treasure box that leads them back to your freezer for some refreshing otter pops!
• Have a toys only yard sale. The kids can earn some snack money and clean out their toy boxes at the same time.
• Finger paint outside with pudding! Set up a table with plastic covering and put dollops of chocolate and vanilla pudding in the center. Instruct kids to go crazy smearing it all over the place. They could wear swimsuits and even paint one another as long as a garden hose is handy for cleanup!
• Set up a play store using old but clean food packages and cans that you have collected. Spray paint a box to be the store clerks counter and hand them a calculator or toy cash register. A wagon could be the food cart. You’d be surprised how many times a child will play the same thing over and over!
• Get together with the other parents in your neighborhood and arrange some play date kid trading!
• Explore the option of local programs that are free for kids in the summer. Most churches have a VBS or Vacation Bible School that is free of charge and lots of fun.
Whatever you find to do with your kids in the summer time keep in mind that it will be these special days with you that they remember as they get older. Making memories sometimes takes planning and being intentional. Other times they happen quite by accident and the story will be repeated for years at family gatherings.
Either way, childhood is a limited time even though it may seem like forever to your kids and to you. Enjoy these moments with your little ones because it really is just a season and it too will pass.