Monday, May 11, 2015

I can’t believe that summer vacation is only 4 weeks away for us. I am giving a lot of thought to how I want this summer to look like and I want to share with you 6 “must do” summer activities that are on my list.

What Will Your Kids Do This Summer? 1. Spending Time in Water

Water-Play
We believe in spending time outside year round, but summer gives us a chance to enjoy water activities and practice swimming, which I consider an important life skill. I am looking forward to our community pool opening in 2 weeks and to making it there at least once a week – either after work or on weekends. Smarty will also take 2 weeks of swim classes to continue to improve her swimming technique – she still looks like she is half-drowning when she swims.

2. Hanging Out with Friends

Flower-Hunt
What else is summer for if not for spending more time in unstructured play? I hope that Smarty will make better friends with other neighborhood kids while at the pool and she is now old enough to go see if any of them are available for impromptu playdates. Of course, we will also try to stay in touch with her best friends who live far enough for a car ride.

3.  Camping

Tent I’ll be honest – I don’t enjoy overnight camping, because I don’t sleep well in the tent and wake up sore. But Smarty was in paradise when we went camping, especially last time when we went with a group of parents with kids from her grade. She enjoyed both the company of her friends and just the feeling of being so close to nature. So we plan to go again this summer, at least twice. And, yes, I am getting a thicker sleeping pad :)

4. Reading

Harry Potter Goblet of Fire
I have mixed feeling on “making” kids do something academic in summer unless they need some tutoring to catch up to their grade level. In the past I tried to “motivate” Smarty to do more math or writing in summer, but all those attempts backfired badly, and the only sneaky academic thing that I plan for this summer is to give her one paid month of membership in “Prodigy Game”. She plays on and off with free membership and keeps begging to try out paid game who offers some special features. Luckily, we never had to encourage Smarty to read – the only challenge with her is to find the right books fast enough, because she is an extremely fast reader. You can check for our favorite books for different ages in Book Recommendations, and I go to this trusted sources while looking for new books – Summer Reading Book Lists from The Imagination Soup and Middle Grade recommendations from What Do We Do All Day.

5. Tinkering

Summer-Projects-for-Young-Tinkerers
Tinkering is broad and covers any interest your children might have – from trying new art material to making robots. The trick about tinkering is that it requires a significant chunk of time, so people could get in the flow of their creative pursuit and stay there, and it’s harder to find this time during school year. Check out my post on 6 fun summer projects for young tinkerers to get inspired.

6. Helping Out

Learning-to-CookInstead of spending summer working on academic skills, it would be great for kids to learn some life skills helping out parents and community. They could learn carpentry, car maintenance, basic cooking skills, or gardening just by working alongside their parents. We certainly expect more participation in home tasks in summer when Smarty is not exhausted after long days and also can go to bed later.

Your Turn

What’s on your list of “must do” activities for kids this summer?
Must Do Summer Activities for Kids

More Summer Ideas for Kids?

Check out my Summer Pinterest board

2015 After School Link Up Hosts

After School Link Up

Share Your Learning Week

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your after school activities with kids age 5+ including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures. When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board or feature on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks! Don't forget to follow along and join our After School Enrichment Google+ community.

4 comments:

Ticia said...

Get an inflatable mattress, that's what you need.

I think you covered most of it.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Looks like a good list. I'd add - make popsicles (it's just not summer without them) and family road trips (I'm really hoping to hit the dinosaur trail again this summer).

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I second the inflatable mattress recommendation.

My kids have one week of drama camp and one week of soccer (J)/gymnastics (E&L) camp. We also have a family reunion with my parents and all but one or two of my siblings planned for this summer.

Holly Hauck said...

Can't wait until summer!!! Visiting from Crafy Moms Linky. Pinning!