Summer is just around the corner and I can almost feel the lightness and freedom starting to filter into our schedule. The lightness in our schedule has started a bit early this year due to social distancing. I did pull out our schedule from last summer and tweak it to keep our afternoons fun and light. This is how we are currently spending our afternoons:
- Monday: In the Studio
- Tuesday: In the Lab
- Wednesday: In the Kitchen
- Thursday: In the Gym
- Friday: In Nature
First, the girls picked a theme for the week. A couple of our themes included St. Patrick’s Day, Unicorns, In the Garden, and Some Good News. Then the girls and I searched through books, Pinterest, or thought up our own ideas to fit each day. The planning is almost as much fun as the activity itself. This has helped us use our creativity, stay positive, and enjoy the moments better.
Even though I am not sure how long our schedule will remain open and our houses closed up, I am planning our summer. I fully recognize that our day camps, vacations, camping trips, and adventures are vulnerable to cancellation.
Summer day camps
Day camps are a highlight. Each girl is already asking to participate in her favorite camps. Some of my girls’ favorites include theater camps, church day camps, backyard clubs, and sports camps.
These camps are a beneficial way for the girls to explore new activities and use their talents + abilities in a different way. I like that they put dedicated time into one event for a few days and see whether it is something they would like to participate in more often.
When I start putting together our summer schedule, I pencil in the top 2 day camps for each girl. The younger two girls are already signed up for the Spring Hill Day Camp while our oldest will be at Summer Service Day Camp that same week. This is the one week during the summer that all the girls are gone for the same days which gives me lots of time to get things done.
Summer Daily habits
Our summer days still have a rhythm to them. The girls and I use structure to help us know what our day is going to bring. The rhythm is just a bit slower, more casual, flexible, and spontaneous.
Our days still include some academic work though it isn’t school. Each day the girls spend time reading independently, working math problems, and listening to our family read aloud.
At the beginning of the summer, Mike + I and the girls will make a list of all the places we want to explore, activities we want to do, and things we want to make. Then as a family we set aside the ones that we want to do as a family for a weekend when we can all participate.
The rest of the list I try to put into the following categories to help us plan our summer and space out the bigger activities. I listed some of our favorites for each day.
Monday: On the Road
- Chicago museums and parks
- Starved Rock State Park
- Chicago Chinatown
- Lincoln Park Zoo
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
Tuesday: In the Art Studio
- arts + crafts
- water coloring
- making slime
- sidewalk chalk
Wednesday: At the Library
Our local library has a great summer reading program, which keeps the girls reading all summer long. The library sends out a calendar before school is out, so the girls decide which fun activities they want to participate in. This is our day for checking out books, reading at the library, and making the library’s drop-in crafts.
Thursday: In the Kitchen
Some of our favorite recipe resources are:
- The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us
- The Pioneer Woman
- Kid Chef Bakes
Friday: out in nature
- The Morton Arboretum
- Montrose Beach
- Bison’s Bluff Nature Playground
- Bike at: Busse Woods + Moraine Hills State Park
- Hike at: Crabtree + Raceway Woods + Volo Bog
Our summer schedule is uncertain at the moment, but I am planning for our summer days to return to some level of normalcy. The girls and I are eager to explore our area, try new activities, and get outside to soak up the sun. I am one that plans for the best-case scenario.
If needed, we will use our current afternoon schedule to make sure we are keeping each day fun and engaging. I am optimistic that we will be able to move about by summer and thoroughly enjoy our more relaxed days.
How do you schedule your summer fun?
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