We’re on a routine run for this summer! With the current pandemic restrictions, closures, and cancellations, we all need ideas for making the summer fun for our families. My own family has settled into lazing around each day, so I’m inspired to implement more structure to our days.
One way to do this is to assign an activity to each day of the week. Some can be fun and some can be practical. Either way, having a clear “Taco Tuesday” kind of label helps everyone to know what is happening that day. It gives your kids something to look forward to, however simple it may be. Even working days will become easier because there is a clear expectation with no surprise chore. This will at least decrease the amount of moaning and groaning, and it could even inspire some motivation and excitement.
What kind of days?
Work together to make a list of ideas for the kinds of days to set. You will most likely find it easy to come up with a month of ideas.
Here are a few ideas to get us started.
This is easy if you have access to a pool. For those of us without a pool, there are still so many options.
One way is to use a sprinkler in your yard. Kids love to run through the water. If you’re concerned about water usage, there’s no need to turn it up all the way. Set the level where it is just right for your kids, and then watch them run back and forth with their big grins.
Water balloons are another great option for water day. Let your kids fill them and learn to tie them, or get the ones that tie themselves. Once you have several filled, load them into a bucket or bin, and have a blast.
And then, there is the cannot-be-beat DIY slip-and-slide. All you really need is a lot of plastic or tarp and a running hose, but you can up the fun factor with some dish soap. Set this up on a hill, and your kids might go flying off the end at record speed.
While at the pool, it is a good time to use sign language to communicate. You can sign to your kids and they can sign back while they are in the water and not have to yell back and forth.
Lots of us already have this implemented. It can be as complex and special or as simple and basic as you’d like. Pizza and a movie. Regular dinner followed by popcorn and a movie. Stay cool in the house and have a movie afternoon in the heat of the summer. Set up a screen and speakers in your backyard and do an outdoor movie night.
Whatever you decide, it doesn’t have to be the same thing every week. And of course, you can practice signing while you have fun!
During our busy days, it always helps to have a few food items prepped and ready to go. You can use a cooking day (or cooking morning, cooking afternoon, cooking hour) to help with meals for the week. Or you could make one fun treat and enjoy that together. Cooking with kids can be overwhelming, so make a simple plan, and help them learn that a good helper is a good listener. No matter how it goes, your kids will love it and remember the fun they had.
While we’d all love to have a fun day every day, real life must continue. If your kids know that you always run errands on Thursdays, they have a clear expectation for the day. Clear expectations make a big difference. And your kids will find something about the errands to look forward to. Some grocery stores give a free cookie to each child or set up a snack station to take from. My little ones loved grocery shopping because they always got a treat from the store. Some stores have something unique that your kids will love.
Beyond our kids wonderful ability to find something to enjoy, there is also the option to include your own planned treat as part of your errand days. Stop for ice cream or run through a drive through for french fries. You could pick up lunch on the way home or buy a treat with your groceries to enjoy at home.
Incorporating sign language into your errand day can add some extra fun. Kids love to sign and they pay more attention when you sign to them. This can be helpful because they watch you to see what you will be signing next. This will keep them more aware of where you are at.
You can use signs to make a game of telling your kids what the treat is going to be.
Sometimes it’s too rigid to assign a definite activity for the same day each week. In this case, you can choose the day that you are most frequently free, and declare it your weekly adventure day. That way, you have set aside a day to look forward to, but you are free to do any fun activity that day. You can make it a surprise for your kids each week, or you can plan your adventure day together each week. Or mix it up by sometimes surprising them and sometimes planning it together!
Make it work for you
These are just a few ideas for weekly routine days. You could also do a hiking day, or even a cleaning day. Build in whatever days work for your family.
What kind of fun days are you planning for this summer?
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