Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Five Tips On Kids Summer Fun

Five tips on summer kids fun could easily turn into 100 tips. After all ever kid is different and we all know that even with 100's of Lego's and shelves full of toys our kids still say they are board.  I think sometimes people think that because I have five kids I could write novels on this stuff.  The reality is I learn so many new things with each season, and each stage of mothering deepens my understanding of each of my kids.

Tip #1 PLAN to take time doing what your kids want.
I do not like playing Monopoly. There I said it. Yet it is Eric's favorite game. He will set this game up and just beg for someone to play with him. I can spend all day saying, "later" "not now" and really it's just delaying some of the finest moments with Eric.  Planning time to sit with your child and play what they love grows your friendship with that one child. It also eliminates the begging for mommy time when you plant that special time with your child.

Tip #2 PLAN and encourage your kids to write. As in paper and pencil kind of writing.
Ethan will talk your ears off. He loves making up stories and sharing every detail.  Each day we planned a time for writing a chapter a day. I then planned some work I could get done. I loved the time watching Ethan write. I loved our interactions around the breakfast table, as I sat working. Ethan was only required to write one chapter a day, but he loved it so much some days he wrote two or three. Setting a time, and requirement will  fill up some time in the day. Also keeps your kids writing and thinking all summer long.

 Tip#3 PLAN cozy time & sleeping in.
It's not just the kids who are on summer break, it's you, too. Why not plan that cozy time in the mornings.  Our children spend 3/4 of the year jumping up, and out of bed and heading out the door. Encourage and plan those cozy times and sleeping in. Emerson would come in quietly, climb into bed and draw pictures while chatting away  When you "plan" these times the night before, and stick to the plan. Your kids learn to lay low during that time and you get that lazy slow wake up.

Tip #4 PLAN your kids TV time.
I love that the boys have an entire room to hang out in and for TV time and they are sitting close.  Kids spend more time being board after hours of unsupervised TV.  Plan your TV time the same time every day.  With limited TV time, they seem to have more creative play with less fighting. Trust me on this one. 
Tip #5 PLAN time with friends.
Make your home the home that kids want to come and visit. Encourage your children to be friends and invite kids into their space.  Plan and be willing to drive and get other kids.  Helping out a single or working mom.  When you plan these kinds of playdates your kids have something to look forward to.

Notice I use the word "plan" in each of my tips. When I make plans, my days seem to fly by and more importantly my kids stay happy, active and busy. They can see what has been planned and seem to like this kind of loose structure.  I want to make sure you get your money's worth from this post so here is my bonus Tip.
Bonus Tip PlAN outside play daily and join your kids. 
Getting out daily with your kids breaths not only fresh air, but breaths life into our souls.  Our kids spend most of their childhood in a classroom. Wide open places to run, play and explore.  No agenda, and lots of packed picnics. 

Kids are not great at planning out 14-16 hours of awake time.  I am very blessed that all of my kids love reading. I never have to plan reading time. They read often, and if they didn't this might be a six tip post.  These tips on summer fun will help make for a very chill and nice summer. Start  planning now as summer is just around the corner.

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