Monday, June 6, 2011

summer system, 2011.

the day after the
last day of school,
2 p.m.

"this is the most boringest summer ever."

direct quote from the little boy.
mommy chokes down tears.

it happens every year,
yet i'm ever inexplicably unprepared for it.

i spend the merry month of may
twirling in the twister of
year-end this & appreciation that,
& by the time the final bell rings,
i'm fairly spent.

& i figure the kids must be, too.
done. exhausted. ready for some good, old-fashioned,
unstructured, unplanned free time.
a handful of days of whatever
before day camps begin.

& annually, i am wrong.
my kids want to do things, go places, spend money.
immediately & daily.

troubles with this:
lack of ideas, energy, time & money.

so, following two days of free-fallingfloating
summer vaycay,
chocked full o' way too much screen time,
i created a system. [golly, i love systems.]

craft sticks. sharpies. a cup.
& a list. [gee, i love lists.]

well, two lists:
things to do at home.
things to do away from home.

quiet coloring.
board game.
card game.
bike riding.
chalk drawing.
rock painting.
sunrise, sunset.
cloud watching.
nature photo scavenger hunt.
trampoline picnic.
trampoline sleepover.
story time.
yoga time.

morning movies.
duck feeding.
swan feeding.
turtle feeding.
wildflower center.
deep eddy.
central market.
whole foods.
hula hut/the oasis.

write each activity on a craft stick.
mark tips of craft sticks with blue dot for home, red dot for away.
every week, each kid chooses
3 blue dots [home activities] + 2 red dots [away activities].

if they're not crazy about a stick they choose,
then they can choose again up to two times,
but the third choice sticks, as it were.

this gives us a sort of fun to-do list for the week,
a way to keep mommy working,
a way to keep the kids breathing,
& an automatic response to the unavoidable refrain of summertime:

"this is the most boringest summer ever."

[disclaimer: naturally, only time will tell.
i'll let you know how it's working come mid-summer.

image source: one of my teacher-appreciation gifts, ca. 2011.

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