Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer Game Plan... or my attempt to not go crazy with small children in the Vegas Heat!

June has arrived, we are counting down the final days of school and I've been busy pinning all the amazing Summer Bucket lists popping up on Pinterest.   This year my three youngest kids are 5, 4 and 2 and I've decided it's time to create a plan of attack for our summer.

I don't like to schedule everything but I find that if I just "hope" we will do things and have fun, we end up spending hours doing nothing. {Correction, I spend time trying to figure something out while the kids go crazy or fight - not all the time of course but that is generally how it feels}.  Another problem with not having a plan is that we live in Vegas. If we want to go out and do some activities we need to start early before its 1,000 degrees outside.  Let's just say I'm not a morning person so hoping I get moving early without something scheduled just doesn't work so well. I decided it I needed to take all these great ideas I'm pinning and come up with the Garcia Game Plan for Summer.

First, I love the bucket list concept but I knew that wouldn't quite work for us.  My oldest son who just finished Kindergarten, loves check lists, but he also due to ADHD loves to hyperfocus.  He will see one thing on that list and I will hear about it non-stop until we do it, and quite frankly my sanity can't handle hearing about something twenty times a day that I know we can't do until August!

I knew both my ADHD self and my son needed something that enough structure to keep us on track and therefore having fun but also flexibility since life happens!  When I saw this idea, I fell in love! The idea comes from a Power of Moms post, a site that always has great support for Moms. I love the idea of having a "theme" for each day that I can plan for and my kids can look forward to but it also gives me flexibility to change it up easily.

Make Something Mondays - craft, bake, paint, build
Take a Trip Tuesdays - try a new park, museum, hike or activity
Wet and Wild Wednesdays - anything water related, pool, splash pads etc.
Thinking Thursdays - library, learning. experiments, practicing
Fabulous Fun Fridays - open day to pick anything fun to do together

After deciding on our schedule I made a big list of things to do including activities I know my kids like and choices from the summer buckets lists I'd pinned as inspiration. Almost all of our activities will be free or very low cost even our "trips".  Once that was done I started dividing the list into our "schedule".  This is my planning list, to keep us on track, not for the kids to see.

I also created another sheet that has a list of bonus activities - extra ideas to fill our days if needed, weekend activities - both scheduled and optional, and finally a list of "bored" activities I can suggest to the kids when they inevitably tell me they there is absolutely nothing to do! The bonus activities involve my participation while the "bored" list can be done individually with siblings.

I'm still deciding how to visually display our plan for the kids (it's not like school is over in two more days or anything - nothing like the last minute!). I thought about a take on an advent type calendar like we do for Christmas but I'm leaning towards just doing just one week at a time and using a card for each day that they can turn over and see what the activity for the day will be each morning. Once I actually create it I will try and remember to post it! My goal is to plan our week using my planning pages each Sunday when I do our family meal plan.  We will see how it goes.

I'm also still coming up with how to introduce this to the kids.  I'm thinking some type of celebration on the first day of our summer.  Any ideas?  Again, I've got lots of time to decide - you know a whole two days! 

Did you create a summer plan? bucket list? What's on your list? 

Happy Summer!  


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