Monday, June 2, 2014

Family summer fun plan!

When I was a kid, we still had two weeks left of school at this point—but my kids' summer vacation starts today! So for the third year in a row, we're running our own "DIY Summer camp." (Check out our plans from 2013 and 2012!)

The idea for DIY Summer Camp came from the Power of Moms blog. Around here, we keep it pretty simple. First, we brainstormed fun things to do at home, and places to go or fun things to do away from home:

I decided we could put any idea on the list, even though we may not get to do it this year (such as visiting the beach; the closest ones are 1000 mi away). We listed fun things we like to do every day as well as special activities and things no summer would be complete without.

Some ideas to get you started:

Fun things to do at home
  • Play in the sprinklers
  • Play with water balloons, water guns, etc.
  • Make a slip'n'slide
  • Paint
  • Grill
  • Fireworks
  • Make ice cream, cheese, slushies
  • Crafts
  • Night games/flashlight game
  • Read
  • Puppet shows

Places to go/fun things to do away from home
  • Beach/lake
  • Baseball game
  • Library
  • Museums
  • Historical sites
  • Restaurants
  • Factory tours (especially candy factories!)
  • Pool/splash pad
  • Park
  • Hike/nature walk
  • Movies, outdoor movies or drive-ins
You can also list things you want to learn, skills you want to work on, other goals, events you want to attend, etc.

Next, I worked on our weekly schedule. I decided I liked last year's day themes so much, I wanted to use them again. I also included routine/schedule items on each day, and a few fun ideas from our list relating to the theme of the day.

  • Make it Monday: arts and crafts
  • Townie Tuesday: visit or research something fun to do in our town, such as the library, local restaurants, and other attractions
  • Wet Wednesday (and Friendsday Wednesday): play at the pool or lake or in the sprinklers, get slurpees, playdates
  • Thoughtful Thursday: acts of service
  • Fun Fridays: trips, movie nights, game nights


At the bottom of this poster, I added two new things. The Rotation Ideas is something I saw on Pinterest (but failed to repin, so I don't have a link :( ), where you have several stations with activities for your kids, and they rotate through them. Our rotation ideas include drawing, reading, playing outside, playing the piano, spending time with Mom, etc. The point is really to make sure that we all get some down time each day without resorting to (too much) screen time.

On the right hand side, there's the Banish Boredom list, fun things we can do at any time from writing in journals to a list of games/makebelieve they enjoy to singing and dancing and sidewalk chalk. I tried to stick to things that don't take supervision or much help from me beyond set up in case boredom strikes while I'm putting the baby down for a nap or making dinner.

After I took this picture, I added one line to the bottom of the chart, just as a reminder for us, that every day they're expected to do their chores (bedroom, independent chore and cooperative chore), read, and practice/write.

I also made up a loose schedule for our days so we all know what to expect. I have two versions of the schedule, the one nap and two nap variations, since a lot of our plans revolve around the baby's schedule still. Having that schedule can help us all remember when the fun happens ;) . I scheduled rotations during the baby's nap time so I can have some downtime as well, and even built in the kids helping me entertain the baby while I'm making dinner on one-nap days (when she's super grumpy).

The only thing that's missing is an adorable picture like this:

Fingers crossed for our best DIY summer camp yet!

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