Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer! Where Are You Going??

If you're anything like me, around this point in the summer a kind of panic sets in. July is done. August is around the corner, and before we know it, the kids are back in school and snow starts to fall.

Or at least that's how it feels. And this is the time I start to ask myself, "Just what the heck have we done this summer anyway?" And the kids may be starting to complain about being bored and "never doing anything fun." That's why this is the perfect time to sit back and reflect, at this half-way point, on all the fun you actually have had and the adventures you've enjoyed. Remind yourself.

I recommend you sit down with your calendar, and your stash of souvenir wrist bands and entry tickets. Sort through it all and make a list of where you've been and what you've done each day. Did you spend a couple of hours on the beach? Have a backyard BBQ with friends? Visit an amusement park? Maybe you had a pajama and movie day after a busy week. List it all out and I guarantee you, you will find a busy and fulfilling month of July laid out in front of you. Whether you went places far and wide and spent lots of money, or enjoyed special time flying your kite in the local park, you had fun and did great things. Summer is like that.

Your list of adventures and memories also provides a great starting place for a rainy day (or lazy day) activity for the kids. Depending on their ages and inclinations, give them the list and ask them to pick a couple of their favourite summer activities. What did they like about them? How did they feel? Did they learn anything? Older kids can write journal entries or a short story based on their adventures. Younger kids can draw pictures. It's kind of a sneaky way to keep kids minds working over the summer, but is also a great way for them to reflect on their experiences and to appreciate all the fun they've had.

The end of July is also a good time to check in with your goals and hopes for the summer. Did you create a bucket list of ideas before school ended? Or have you been really hoping to check out one special new place or have a certain friend over for a backyard camp out? If there are wish list items you haven't yet accomplished, now's the time to decide it they're feasible, and, if so, when to fit them in.

By looking at what you've already done and deciding what's left to do, you'll be heading into August with a great plan to make sure you don't suddenly realise in September that you never got to do X, Y or Z. And, you'll feel a lot better about how things are going, and what a great job you are doing, when you actually list out all the activities and summer fun that you've already shared with your kids. Kudos Mom and Dad!

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