How does that idiom go? “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” or so said Robert Burns, but in my opinion that’s no excuse to at least have a few ideas in your back pocket for that stretch of two-and-a-half months once school gets out.
Yes, it is June and there will be a lot more kids staying up late, playing outside, taking family camping trips, and meeting friends for fun rather than study groups. Summer is here and that sends some parents into crazy mode as they wonder what to do with all that time.
Last year on the final day at our school a large group of about forty kids and twenty parents descended upon a local ice cream spot (walkable from school) and celebrated the arrival of summer with the consumption of frozen treats. This year we plan to mark the last day in the same fashion but I have a little more in mind than simple ice cream or frozen yogurt.
While floating in the “no more school, no more books” high of the final day until classes resume in September, my son and his friends will need to provide me with ideas of what they would like to do this summer. These ideas can be as outrageous as they want or as realistic as they want. They will be my launching pad for activity when there isn’t a lot of idea power from which to draw.
A lot of parents already have kids signed up for day camps during the summer but in between when the doldrums hit, I want to have an artillery of ideas that can fight the boredom. And if the creative play of making “banks” or “jails” out of old refrigerator boxes in the backyard wears out, or the rainy day options of drawing pictures or engaging in a less-than-riveting game of Battleship have run their course, I’ll refer to the trove of plans I may have scribbled on a paper napkin – fun stuff we want to accomplish.
If that doesn’t work, there are always chores and real work. When called upon to help in the yard or the house after stating “I’m bored,” kids have a way of entertaining themselves in any way other than performing the duties required.
Some summer plans necessitate preparation, like learning a foreign language at home, or buying supplies for a mechanical or art project, but others can be pulled out of hat.
Go fill that hat and enjoy the season living and playing with your kids.