The dreaded “I’m bored!” is just around the corner as school is already out for summer. Although many families still have a routine, albeit a different one for summer (work, daycare, or day camps), summer can also mean a lot more time spent at home and with family. Holidays are taken, grandparents visit, or some parents stay home with children all summer. As much as we look forward to the change in hectic life scheduling, too much free time can result in “I’m bored” coming up again and again. It doesn’t take long to realize that some sort of routine is needed.
One of the things I am going to use in my home to combat that dreaded phrase is a Summer Challenge. My 7-year-old daughter and I put a list of activities into a jar and will pull them out whenever we need something to do. The challenge can be used on many different levels. For younger children you can keep it simple. Older children can be more involved in the planning of an activity, which we have learned can be more fun than the activity itself. What was that saying about the journey and the destination?
When I first described this idea to my daughter she was right on board! We love making lists, and pulling ideas out of a jar seems like a really fun way of checking off a To-Do List! We found a dollar store jar and decorated it for our ideas. I cut the strips of paper and she was so excited to read through each strip before she folded it and added it to the jar. She is already hopeful for her favourite ideas to be pulled first. Such anticipation!
She has asked me if it’s OK to add some of her own ideas to the jar. I think why not? (As long as I approve first…) She has already started her list of pulling weeds (what a wonderful idea!), going for a walk in the field with gopher holes, and chasing butterflies.
So we have begun. Lucky for us the weather cooperated for challenge #38: sitting around a campfire. Of course, we enjoyed s’mores and told stories as well. The age range around this fire is 7-38 years. That’s a lot of stories to tell! What an excellent kick-off to summer in a home full of kids!