Summer is a wonderful time of year. Summer days just seem to have a lot more flexibility than during the school year. We have time to relax, go on adventures, and try new things.
I strive for a balanced summer schedule. I enjoy many of the typical summer fun activities with my children. Park outings. Baking treats. Picnics. Pools.
I do NOT enjoy playing cruise director for my family, though. It isn’t fun for me, and quite frankly, it isn’t good for my kids. They need time to use their imaginations, run around with the neighborhood kids, build forts, and be bored.
My 2017 word of the year is ‘Intentional’ and that applies to how we spend summer break too. I want to intentionally give the kids lots of free time while sprinkling in fun activities. This year I put together a summer planning guide to help remind me to plan a little summer fun.
Each week I will plan one outing, one activity, and one book.
This gets us out of the house a little bit, but it also ensures we do not become over-scheduled. Summer is a respite from the busyness of the school year!
Weeks that I’m feeling a little extra-motivated, otherwise known as well rested, I might plan the activities around a common theme. Coming up with themes doesn’t have to be complicated. Remember, we are trying to intentionally choose one outing, one activity, and one book. That is all. If you want to do more than that, great! But be care to avoid the slippery slope of playing cruise director.
Here are a few themes that Hannah and I came up with in just a few minutes.
Summer Planning Guide
Somewhere to GO: Support a local farm by going blueberry picking.
Something to DO: Bake a blueberry treat .
Something to READ: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Theme: 80’s summer
Somewhere to GO: Run through a sprinkler and slide down a slip n slide. (This is cheating a bit by staying home, but it is definitely something kids enjoy. The idea is to intentionally create some fun so adapt it as you need.)
Something to DO: Make popsicles.
Something to READ: Superfudge by Judy Blume
Somewhere to GO: Visit your local zoo.
Something to DO: Make a bird feeder.
Something to READ: The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble
Theme: Harry Potter
Somewhere to GO: Check out a magic show. Many rec centers and libraries host magicians in the summer so be sure the check your local calendars.
Something to DO: Try a few chemistry experiments
Something to READ: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (or any of the Harry Potter series)
Theme: Outer Space
Somewhere to GO: Go check out a planetarium
Something to DO: Make galaxy slime
Something to READ: The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System by Joanna Cole
Most of our summer weeks will not have a theme. We will just choose somewhere to go, something to do, and something to read. That is good enough. I’m striving for an intentional summer, not a perfect plan.
Are you tired of playing cruise director too? You are in luck! You can download and print my summer planning guide template and ideas just by joining my mailing list. The download includes the template to keep you organized as well as 20 Somewhere to Go suggestions, 20 Something to DO suggestions, and 20 Something to READ suggestions! All you need to do is pull an idea from each page and you are ready to have fun!
The sign up form for my mailing list is on the top right of the page.
You can download and print your own Summer Planning Guide by joining my mailing list!
I am going to just pop the Summer Fun planning guide in my lesson plan book for the summer.
How will you spend your summer days? Leave your ideas in the comments!
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