We have less than two weeks of school left here. Two more weeks where the wee ones are out the door before 8am and not home until after 4pm. Two more weeks of homework and gymnastics and tae kwon do and other activities that keep us focused and organized and prevent the dreaded “I’m bored” phrase from being uttered within my hearing. In two weeks, summer vacation begins, and it’s up to me to keep the wee ones occupied and happy. Yes, we do have summer school in the mornings for the first four weeks, but that leaves a long stretch in the afternoon, and we can’t go to the pool every single day unfortunately.
I’m going into summer prepared this year, thanks to The Confident Mom. She has compiled a great list of activities and games and treats to keep families occupied all summer long with The Confident Mom 2012 Summer Survival Calendar. It is filled with budget-friendly, creative activities and recipes for each day from May 15 to August 31 that Susan found all over the internet. They’re all gathered in one easy place, with blank calendar pages to print and fill in with your chosen activities for each day. Personally, I have to admit that we’re going to try making our own juggling balls. We will definitely be painting our driveway with homemade paint. And oh yum will we ever be making some homemade salt water taffy – who even knew you could? – and homemade ice cream sandwiches. There are tons of ideas, many of which I would never have thought of on my own.
Not every idea is for every person, which Susan recognizes. As part of her recommended summer planning, she asks families to sit together in a family meeting to talk through what they want to do over the summer, helping to narrow down where to focus because there are way more activities suggested than time available. Susan also smartly includes a weekly grocery list to fill out based on what you plan to cook and a weekly supplies list based on the activities you’re planning for each day. While many activities simply require materials you have around the house (balloon race cars anyone?), some will require you to purchase some items – for me, the Borax to make my own super balls.
Can you tell I’m a little excited about these boredom busters? This guide is available for download as a .pdf for $9 via The Confident Mom. I think it’s great that the ideas are so varied so that they really are appropriate for everyone from preschoolers through late elementary, the years when we parents really need the help. The electronic guide is meant to be both printed – the weekly lists, the questionnaires for the family meeting, etc. – and used electronically, as the document is filled with links to the projects’ original online sources. My favorite link is probably the free factory tours where I found available tours in my area that I didn’t know existed. What a hoot!
The summer survival guide is well-organized, and I know I’ll be referring to it weekly. In fact, I’m trying to figure out when to have our family meeting to start talking about some of the activities we want to do. I do wish that the calendar weren’t in landscape mode. As the document is a .pdf and the links to the activity directions are in the daily calendar, I have to turn my computer sideways to read it and click on the links. It isn’t the most convenient, but it works, and I’m just thrilled at all the activities we’ll be doing for the first time. The words “I’m bored” had better not be uttered this summer.
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In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of The Confident Mom 2012 Summer Survival Calendar for review purposes. I was also compensated for this post, but all opinions remain my own. Written by 5 Minutes for Mom contributor Michelle who is doing her best to enjoy every moment of quiet before the chaos of summer begins. See what she’s up to on her blog Honest & Truly! or follow along on Twitter where she is also @HonestAndTruly.