Summer is fast approaching and every Mom out there is frantically searching Facebook chats and online brochures to find the best camps to put their kids in for the summer, because let's face it... we don't want to go insane this summer while the kids are home for hours and hours. I myself and expecting a baby the same week my oldest daughter has her last week of school (talk about timing) so I am on the hunt for activities (or babysitters) who are more than willing to entertain my energetic five year old.
I know a lot of parents find camps and activities very easily in the summer, but what about those weeks or days the kids are home and terrorizing our house? What do you do then when you can't be rescued? Here are just a few things I've found that really help in those moments when I need to get my kid doing something (for both our sanity)!
I know this is easier said than done sometimes especially when you have really little ones running around your house. But honestly if you can begin thinking of activities now before those moments of boredom hit then you will thank yourself (or thank me)! One year I went to the dollar store and bought bins and crafts and bubbles and pretty much anything that could possibly entertain my oldest. I put different activities in each box so she could choose what she wanted to do that day. It really helped to keep her engaged and doing something rather than sitting on her iPad.
2. Find out what other kids are doing
During the summer it can be hard to coordinate play dates with friends because most people travel or kids are in camps. Find out before hand what your kids friends are doing and even plan to have both your kids do the same camp or activity. We have friends that always put their kids in camps during the summer so I went through my calendar and actually made notes of when her kids would be available to play.
3. Set goals during the week for outings and play time outside
I like to at least get my kids outside and playing at a park two times a week if not more. Sometimes the best days are the ones where you don't have anything planned and can just spend a few hours at the park making new friends. It gives kids a great opportunity to socialize as well as yourself. During the summer it can either tend to be really busy or not busy enough. I think having days where maybe you don't have something scheduled can sometimes end up being one of the best days. It allows you to be fluid and just take a nice relaxing day.
I think the biggest thing that will help is to have a plan of action before summer comes. If you don't have a clue, then chances are it will be a pretty boring summer for you and your kids. Start researching and seeing what kind of events are taking place in your area and put those in your calendar. Even if you never attend all the events or activities you plan on attending at least you know that there are options of things you can do outside of the house.