…..and it is in full swing!!! I am so thankful for relaxed, fun-filled days and a much needed vacation. I welcome it with open arms and a list a mile long. Adventuring around our town, a few crafty projects, cleaning room by room, and just having lots of fun. I can’t wait to make memories with my 3 kiddos and husband. Now that I work full time at school, I appreciate my time off this summer so much more. For the last several years we’ve written down ideas of things we would like to do over the summer and I make a calendar so that we have a plan. I don’t have every minute of everyday scheduled out, but I also know that writing things down tends to help them happen.
I do have a few Summer Survival tips for you so that memory making is at its best.
Bedtime-It’s not for them-it’s for you (just don’t tell them that!) School may be out, but the amount of sleep a child needs does not change. Just bump it later by 30 minutes. Our’s will be enforced Saturday-Wednesday, leaving Thursday and Friday a little more relaxed. Kid’s still need sleep to function happily.
Hydrate-If your activities will be outside start hydrating the day before. Keep a pack of water bottles in the back of your car for those “just in case” times.
Quiet Time-Summer provides a great opportunity to help not only our children, but ourselves, to slow down and take time renewing our walk with Christ. There are so many kid friendly devotion books and different translations of the Bible. I use the YouVersion Bible app and it has tons of plans. YouVersion has even created a Bible for Kids app that is great for your younger kiddos. (Jack who is 8, does enjoy it but it is borderline a bit too young for him). He prefers the The Action Bible by David C Cook. I also bought him a journal that is designated as his “God Only” journal. He can copy a verse, illustrate a passage, write a prayer. The only rule is it is only for God-stuff. It has been so cool to see him write or draw and he even has a page for prayer requests and answered prayer.
A tip about quiet time-this is a perfect way to start a morning or this could be during a designated quiet time that you schedule each day, say after lunch for 30 minutes. No one can talk, they must stay in their room (exception is going to the restroom). Mom too!!!
Tattle Tickets-When the girls were little and tattling was at an all time high, I had to do something and tattle tickets were created. You can use anything you like as a ticket. I thought I had written a blog post about this but could not find it and since it’s been a few years since we’ve needed them, I’m pretty sure this is how we did it. Each girl got three tickets for a day. and hey could tattle up to three times with their tickets. Once tickets were gone-no more tattling. However, for each ticket they did not use they got something. Adam and I cannot remember if they received a quarter for each unused ticket or a point. Either would work, just decide on what it is they are working towards and when they may “cash” it in. It is amazing how well this works. If you are going on a trip, they could earn special snacks or spending money. Otherwise they could work towards a bigger goal. One note here-we did tell the girls that they did not have to use a ticket if they were telling on something the other was doing that would cause themselves or someone to get hurt, so be sure to clarify. This was a serious sanity saver!
Simplify-I got this tip from my Pastor’s wife and I agree 100%. Don’t be afraid to use use paper plates and disposable utensils especially during seasons of extreme busyness or simply during a break-like the summer. Try everyday for lunch or one day a week to give everyone a break. This is so simple but so very helpful!!! And keep refillable water bottles in the fridge for every member of your family.
Take time with your spouse- Schedule at least 3 dates over the summer, one per month-June, July, August.
HAVE FUN-Whatever you do, try to slow down and enjoy every minute!