Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?

By the way, that was one of my favorite Primary songs when I was a kid. I think they hardly ever sing it anymore. Sad.

S-Boogie has just two weeks of school left before summer vacation. After growing up in California it still is strange to me that school ends before Memorial Day. And it feels strange to have a child who is beginning second grade next year. Naturally I've been trying to figure out what we're going to do this summer. This is the first time in about five years that we won't be moving or having some other sort of upheaval during the summer. That part of it is nice. The sudden transition to having both children home all the time is not so nice.

We will definitely be participating in the library's summer reading program, and they often give out coupons as prizes so we will be able to do some fun things with those. This summer I will also have S-Boogie only count books that she has read herself. Her reading still isn't really great (she mostly just uses sight words or guesses), and I think the best thing is to get lots of practice. We live close to a swimming pool, but I'm not sure we're going to go very much this year because it wouldn't be very safe for me to take the baby and the kids. She's not quite big enough to really get in the pool and the older two need more supervision than I give while holding a baby. I did sign the kids up for swim lessons the last two weeks of June and hopefully we can go swimming as a family a few times. Next summer will be even better for family pool time. We will also plan one day a week, at least, to walk over to the park. Playing in the backyard is fun but it's nice to change things up now and then. Besides the Bean Museum at BYU, is there anything else in Utah County that's free (or relatively cheap) and fun for kids?

I'm thinking about having some sort of loose schedule or routine every day, including a bit of time for working on school review stuff. I don't want it to be annoying to the kids, but they're both young enough to still be excited about homework and we have a lot of resources on hand. My mom has given us several different workbooks, plus I have a large collection of uncompleted assignments that S-Boogie brought home from school. I'm also thinking of teaching them a little bit of basic piano and reading music, since I'm still trying to find money for piano lessons and a teacher for them.

I never did follow up on the TV question; thanks to everyone for all the advice. I have to admit that we'd never get rid of our TV since we love watching movies, but we don't have cable and so that really limits our options of what we can watch. Since TV is such an important thing for S-Boogie I've decided to use it as a motivator for the kids. They can earn TV time by reading and use up to an hour a day to watch. If it gets to be a problem then we just won't have television at all. I'm hoping that we will have enough fun stuff to do that it won't be such an issue. So far the kids spend a lot of time just playing in the large dirt pile in the corner of our back yard. Hopefully between the dirt pile, library books, and homemade snacks we will make it through the summer with our budget and our sanity intact.

Comments

Kristeee said…
Cabela's is another fun and free place to take kids. There are a lot of stuffed (um, taxidermied?) animals on display and there are fish to feed for a quarter.

A fun place but a little bit further is the aquarium in Sandy. The annual passes are the same price as two visits, so we got them and have been probably a dozen times in the last 4 months. Kate loves it. Older kids seem to love it, too - petting the rays is a favorite, and they have feeding time for all the different animals. They just got penguins, too, and they're fun to watch.

I love that song, too. For whatever reason, it's always one of the first songs that comes to mind when I'm panicking and need a song to calm a kid (and myself!).

Is Orem Library's summer program any good for little little kids? I haven't even looked into it - I was just sad that Provo discontinued their toddler story time for the next few months.
brinestone said…
It's fun to go to a pond and feed the ducks, but I'm sure you already do that. Your baby is probably not old enough to allow for family bike rides. I remember doing a lot of creative stuff in the back yard during the summer months: playing sardines with the neighbors in several different yards; making a "zoo" or "museum" in our back yard by displaying all our stuffed animals or dinosaur toys or whatever neatly all over the back yard and then inviting people to come and see it; making scavenger hunts or treasure hunts for the younger kids to do; building a "covered wagon" with chairs and blankets and making hard tack and pretending we were pioneers. Playdates with friends are a great way to pass an afternoon a week. And just because you can't go to the pool doesn't mean that water play is out. Just buy a kiddie pool and play in the water right in your own yard. Or run through a sprinkler. Good luck!
Earth Sign Mama said…
Don't underestimate the value of the dirt pile. It is one of the best playtime tools you can have. As a teacher, I get students all the time who have a limited imagination because everything they've ever played with came with limits--it was what it was--it couldn't be anything else. Video games are especially notorious for stifling imagination. But, a dirt pile, some sticks,and a few rocks can be anything you decide. You make up the narrative and are in charge of the limits. I think every child should be so blessed as to have a pile of dirt and rocks and sticks for play.
Th. said…
.

We haven't missed out tv that much. If we had a decent computer willing to play our dvds, we wouldn't miss it at all.

For the summer, math? reading? We haven't decided. Though I will be teaching O Roman numeral. (Why not?)

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