Ok, do any other parents get anxiety moments days before school is out? My son’s kindergarden class ended two weeks early sending me into a frenzy of worry regarding what on earth we were going to DO this summer?! Where’s the panic button!
Not wanting to buy into the typical mommy-pattern of keeping my kid so busy we both burn out, I wanted to plan a good balance between boredom-busting activity and comma-causy craziness.
It’s a very easy trap for us parents to fall in; trying to keep our kids busy to “keep them out of trouble.” I’m finding all this keeping-them-out-of-trouble business is only raising kids to be entertainment-seekers and driven by entitlement. Before you jump me, I’m not saying it’s not good to put our kids in quality activities, but what I am saying is that too much of anything is just plain too much.
What if summer became something more meaningful than just another day camp? Here’s what I’m thinking of doing this summer:
- Yes, my son is going to day camp. Three of them, actually. One half day one to learn to ride his bike, and the other two put on by the city while I’m teaching dance camps on those particular weeks.
- We are going to a kids camp together, which we do every year. Always a wonderful time. This one is in Elkwater, Alberta
-We’re going on a weekend family camping trip with two other families so us gals can say we’re not suffering alone…
But here’s where we spice things up!
I’ve created two jars: one for sunny days and one for rainy days. Each day we’re home, my 5 year old will pull out of one of the jars based on the weather. That becomes our activity for the day. I’ve put all kinds of activities in the jars that get my family and I out and about in our city! Experiencing parks we’ve never been to, and some volunteering. Here’s what I’ve got in the buckets so far!
Sunny Day bucket:
- for these days I put a bunch of parks we’ve never visited so my son can experience the city he lives in. In a world where families are so busy, there’s such little time for rest and time together. Parks are a great way to spend some quality time together. I found these parks on our city’s website. What fun it could be for you to discover your city parks this summer!
For you Calgarians, here’s some parks for you to discover:
Nose Hill Park
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
Olympic Park and handing out homeless care packages on Stephen Ave
Canoeing at Bowness Park
Riley Park wading pool
Prince’s Island Park and handing out homeless packages
Glenmore spray park and walk
Elliston Park walk
Stanley Park pool
Weaselhead Flats hike
Griffith woods walk
Prairie Winds spray park
Wet Nose Creek Park
Fishing at Carburn Park
Elbow falls walk
Rainy Day Bucket
Build a volcano – for the scientist in my son and other crazy science experiments
baking for organizations that deliver food to the hungry (taste -testing included)
making care packages for the homeless
Devonian Gardens and +15walk downtown (we’ll take the train down too!)
Eau Claire Market
Play A Latte – a great place to chill
Chinook Centre carosel and Chapters
Cross Iron Mills Bass Pro Shops store – which is like going to the zoo!
Ikea visit for meatballs and ice cream
charity visit! Where we visit a charity I work with and bless them!
My goal was for a variety of fun and “giving back” activities that would give our family some great memories, yet not run us ragged.
We’re also reading through the Narnia series with Ben with the reward of watching the movies after. Great summer reading!
Summer can be so much more if we can imagine a little further than the typical. Our bodies go-go-go all year round. Summer can be a timely sabbatical for all, not just filled with things to do for “us” but a chance to bless others as a family.
Time to rekindle memorable family time! Today is a rainy day. I wonder what activity we’ll pull out of the bucket for today?