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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

summer plans

I was talking to a friend of mine this weekend about our summer plans. She's a teacher and mom to a vivacious seven year old and she's eager to show him summer is more than video games and hanging out at the house. My initial thought? I have no idea what to do with a seven year old!

After our conversation, I put some thought into what they might enjoy, followed quickly by what our family might enjoy this summer as well! Adding a baby into the mix in a couple of months has really reminded J.B. and I that we want to spend some special time with Jake between now and the end of July. 

So, for those of you that are wringing your hands over what to do this summer, fear no more. I've amassed a slew of ideas for all ages and thrown them together into five categories. Five fun ways to spend your summer!

I'm a big advocate of kids just being outside. Building Jake a tree house this spring was a big part of that. And there is so much they can learn out there! A few examples for you? Sidewalk chalk, bubbles, bike rides, dog parks, rock collections, playgrounds, flying a kite, picnics, gardening, and building... well, anything!

Look, I get that it's 2015, but I have to say this... The library is still cool. Kids checking out books, playing with puppets and puzzles, listening to story time? It's all still so good! Our local library has tons of activities for kids during the summer. I'm sure yours does too!  And I think any kid of any age would love a summer book reading challenge! 

We're in the South. And spoiler alert: it's really hot here all summer long. Basically, water fun keeps us alive. 
Sprinklers, slip'n'slides, water gun fights are all awesome backyard options. 
Also, everyone needs to have a friend with a pool. Or maybe a membership to the Y (remember it's income based so look into that even if you're on a tight budget) 
There are also several local free splash pads that are open every day. Look around your town for those!

And what would summer be without a road trip or two? It can be a day trip or a full vacation! Find some neat places within your budget and time frame to check out this year. 
Examples? Hiking at a state park. Spending a day at the zoo. Checking out a local cave. Going to an amusement park. An indoor day at the aquarium. A beach vacation. A concert trip. Overnight camping in the woods. 

One of the best things to do is to create some family traditions. This can be something small like snocones every Friday night. Or maybe a trip to the drive in theater once a month. A lot of towns around here have a monthly tradition like "First Friday's" where craft or food vendors all come out to a huge park or downtown area once a month for everyone to check out. There are so many special traditions that you can create over the summer with your little tribe. Go for it!

I've always thought that the easiest way to organize your ideas is to make a list. This, my infamous "to-do" lists. I'm still in the process of making the Wilder family plans for this summer {baby prevailing!} but here is our list from last year to get you going.

Happy planning!

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