Wednesday, May 7, 2014

6 Ideas for Downtime this Summer {Plus a Bonus Weekly Agenda}

We have the freezer stocked with frozen treats, books out, prize box filled, and just days left until summer vacation! We’re planning lots of downtime, but even constant downtime needs a plan. Otherwise, everyone can go a little batty very quickly!

Here are some ideas for your summer down time:

1. Plan a Service Project:

We're kicking off the summer with a group service project: last year we invited friends over and partnered with Craft Hope in making bracelets for orphanages in Russia.

This year I've contemplated keeping it local and having children make art together and then take it to a local nursing home's Alzheimer unit.

2. Go camping:

Camping is a must in Wyoming, along with other trips you may have planned. But even if you’re in a season of life where camping is not possible, pitch a tent in your backyard.

3. Create Your Own Summer Reading Program:

We'll read all summer long, but will have a special three-week incentive program. I got the idea for it last year here. Our kids loved this last summer! Robby was anticipating it already again at the beginning of May . They love it because they get to pick a prize every day. But also because they really do get immersed in the reading they/we do.

4. Implement Scripture memorization:

I've chosen the first section of the Sermon on the Mount, which is the Beatitudes, for the children to memorize over the summer. How far they get will be determined by each one's age.

Incentives for this might be a ticket for a date with mom, a date with dad, invite a friend over to play, etc. That way we're working in that quality time that we desire to make time for, too!

5. Do a Nature Study:

Learn about trees and flowers, bugs and birds all around your neighborhood and community. I found this great resource for doing a nature study here.

6. Choose an Organized Activity:

The YMCA, Sheridan College, and Sheridan Historical Society have programs for children ages, at least four and up.

I like to take advantage of time together over the summer so we try to keep individual activities at a minimum. I love to see the relationships of my children grow and imaginations soar when they have books to stimulate their imagination and time for uninterrupted play, to act out all of their new adventures.

Structure Your Week to Simplify Your Life:

This is  a great idea I found last year here, to schedule a little activity into each week.

Monday: Craft Day

We'll pull out the paints, glitter, clay, glue, scissors, (maybe even the sowing machine), etc. and get creative with a different fun project each week!

Tuesday: Library Day

We'll make a weekly trip to the library.

Wednesday: in the Kitchen Day

We'll try out new creations and recipes. My children love getting creative in the kitchen!

Thursday: Service Day

This may be making thoughtful notes for family, visiting a nursing home, or helping someone in need.

Friday: Fun Day

This will be our water play day: pools, fountains, water guns, slip and slides...

Keep in mind, much of your weekly agenda will take only part of the morning and still leave plenty of time for outdoor fun!

Summer time around here is a time of relaxation and fun with a little structure to keep everyone in the know as to what to expect, as the days can run into each other easily and quickly without a plan.

We hope to fit in plenty of exploration, playing in our backyard, parks with friends, tennis with grandpa, and getting wet with cousins - A LOT!

I am a believer in making a plan and then working it out flexibly. So go jot down some ideas and have a great summer!


Check out these great sites for more fun ideas for your summer:


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