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More than just surviving summer at home with your kids! June 18, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Tips and Ideas — twinningattitude @ 11:32 pm

SUMMER!

Although part of us as moms look forward to the end of each school year with its demands, deadlines and endless fundraisers, we also dread (even if just a little bit) knowing that each and every morning will no longer see our little darlings off to school so we can either get to our own jobs, work our “from-home” business, or just take care of the little preschooler(s) in a temporarily quieter home.

For me, the arrival of summer break does promise the lack of 5:30 wake-ups, and I can look forward to sleeping to the ripe old hour of 7 am when my 2-year-old twins begin to call me from their room. But the challenges of keeping each child content and busy for the next 2 and 1/2 months presents a bigger challenge then the other 9 and 1/2. I run a part-time, from-home business, and during the school year I work when the little guys are napping before it’s time to pick up the older kids, but summer days are totally different with 4 other kids to think about. Another challenge is the fact that my 3 sets of twins vary in ages from 2 to 10 to 15. The obvious problem: none of them want to do what the others are doing. The last challenge: cost. I cannot afford to take them to a Disney theme park once a week. No way!

My solutions? Many. First of all, on beautiful, hot summer mornings, the goal is to eat a quick breakfast, pile the towels and sunscreen into the beach bag and head either up to our neighborhood pool or to the beach. Having the beach only seven miles from our door is quite the advantage to living in Jacksonville, Florida! Either spending the morning at the pool or beach, the kids get LOTS of exercise, have LOTS of fun, and WEAR themselves out in time before lunch … and it’s quite enjoyable for me, too! Often, we’ll plan to meet up with another family and bring lunch along so the kids can have their “friend-fix” of those they miss seeing each day at school.

In the afternoons (which are typically rainy during the summer here in Florida) or on rainy mornings, we have the choice of:

1.  Dollar or free matinee movies at a nearby cinema;

2.  Regular trips to the library for new books to read in the afternoons and evenings;

3.  “Play dates” at our or friends homes. Hey, teenagers love plays date if it means they can hang out with their friends;

4.  Plan a day at the zoo. There are lots of specials and coupons during the summer for zoos to keep people coming on hot summer days, so it can be pretty reasonable. Pack lunch in stead of buying food there to save even more!

5.  At least once, visit a local water park (much less expensive than large theme parks). Kids of all ages will enjoy an entire day water sliding … and picnic lunch outside!

6.  For a more cost-effective solution, arrange it so that you and several neighbors pitch in to rent an inflatable water slide for an entire day. If enough families are involved, the cost will be low!

7.  Get some new board and card games. It’s amazing how caught up in a board game we get when we’re enjoying it!

8.  Sleepovers are so much fun to look forward to complete with movies and popcorn. I allow the older kids make cookies or brownies to go with ice cream.

… and other ideas that fill the days with activity. Doing so allows the afternoons to more  low key for toddler naps if needed, and reading time for older kids so moms can get some work done! Of course, not everyday must there be a scheduled activity … just go with the flow and relax, too because, after all, it’s summer break!

Okay! Please share YOUR ideas!!

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2 Responses to “More than just surviving summer at home with your kids!”

  1. Karen Quaiel Says:

    Summer can be difficult in regards to keeping the children busy, or just entertained. It is VERY expensive if you don’t keep up with how much the little things add up to. It only gets harder at the end of summer when getting ready for school and doing the little things. HEAT factors in for outside stuff (esp if you don’t live close to the beach). Some summer lesson: Down time. quiet time, family time, and those lessons they don’t teach in school, CARD AND BOARD games. Still working during the day can be stressful if your children are at home waiting for you, but guess what I learned, they figured out how to be self entertaining. Of course my youngest is 9 so this may not work for 2 y/o. Karen

    • twinsx3 Says:

      Hi Karen, Thank you for your comment!

      You know, in our house the “B” word is “Bored” … if someone is bored, it’s his or her own fault! There are some many “quiet” activities to do once everyone comes in from the heat … art projects, puzzle building (we have a 1,000-piece one in the “works” right now on the table in our loft), reading good books, board games, computer games, model-building, and a little TV watching never hurt either, especially if it’s a good DVD movie!

      As a parent who works inside the home, it’s this time of day that I can get the most work done, and hope that all are content, especially while the little guys are napping!
      On top of all of that, I remind my kids that in no uncertain terms, that I am not here as their “entertainment provider”. Yes, we have fun doing out-of-the-house activities every other day or so, during a large part of every day, it’s up to each child to “self-entertain”, to be creative and discover how much fun it can be to simply hang out with their siblings!

      Isn’t that how we all learn how to interact and socialize outside our home, by first learning how to interact with our own family? It’s just a healthy part of growing up!

      Thanks again!!


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