Every year since Isabella has started school I tell myself that I will get organized and plan a fun, productive summer. But every year time gets away from me and before I know it I’m picking her up from her last day of school. Well, not this year! I refuse to be a victim to the “I’m bored!” and “What can I do?” and “Can I play on the i-Pad???” every five minutes come summer.
I know that Isabella and I both thrive on a schedule. She is accustomed to the structure of school where she knows what time lunch is and doesn’t have to wonder about what she will be doing next. I’m not saying I’m going to schedule out her every waking hour, but there will definitely be some structure to our summer plans.
One thing I am going to implement is weekly goals and tasks. We’ve never done chore charts in our house because I believe in teaching her that she has responsibilities (making her bed, putting away her shoes, etc). No one gives me a sticker for unloading the dishwasher. Over the summer, I’m going to up her responsibilities to include more household tasks. I wanted to pick tasks that could be done every week and didn’t depend on me. (Like helping her to use cleaning products, or supervising her with the knives in the dishwasher, or something that required me coming in before or after her to ready the task.)
She is already mostly responsible for folding her own laundry and putting it away, but now we are going to add putting it in the washer and transferring it to the dryer. As for cleaning out Mom’s car- she is notorious for leaving behind shoes, back packs, water bottles, and misc trash in the back of my car. Cooking dinner is one task that I will be involved in. I feel like I have failed her a little in this aspect, because by the time I was her age I was already flipping my own pancakes and cooking up simple things in the kitchen mostly unsupervised. Usually when she asks to help it’s when I’m making something for the blog, and it’s too stressful for me to have her help when I’m still in the recipe development stage. I’m planning to set aside one night a week where she can help me meal plan, grocery shop, and cook a meal. Life skills, friends.
Another thing I really want to implement with her this summer is age-appropriate, fun service projects that she can do from home. I picked Project Linus and Meals on Wheels as the two organizations to support. Project Linus mission is to: Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.” I’m planning to take her to the fabric store, let her pick out some fabric, and teach her to make no-sew fleece blankets. (Project Linus even has free templates on their site.) She loves to craft and I think this will be a great activity to keep her busy while doing some good for others. We even have a local drop-off station just down the street. Both of my girls have special blankets that they have slept with every night since birth, so I’m hoping that this cause will resonate with her.
The other is Meals on Wheels. The Meals on Wheels mission is to: promote the dignity and independence of older adults, persons with disabilities, and other homebound persons by delivering nutritious meals and providing or coordinating needed services. MOW collects place mats decorated by kids, laminates them, and delivers them with the meals they provide. I know she will love creating the mats, and also being responsible for mailing them to the collection facility in Dallas. She has been all about the mail lately and loves sending and receiving letters.
You could also use the printable as a menu planner.
What tips do you have for adding some structure to your kid’s summer in hopes to keep your sanity?