For many of us, the school year is winding down and we are preparing for summer! I don’t know about you, but I tend to get in over my head during the summer.
I make summer bucket lists, plan various arts and crafts, summer outings, play dates, vacation, etc. and inevitably end the summer disappointed that we didn’t do nearly all the things I had planned to do.
I end up feeling like I failed to provide the kind of summer for my children that will exist forever in their memories.
The truth is, however, summer is pretty great without many plans at all.
Also? I don’t want a busy summer.
I want to slow down and enjoy time with my friends and family without a huge list of demands and planned activities. I also want my children to learn the very important lesson that I am not responsible for entertaining them 24/7 and that some of their greatest summer fun will come from where their little creative minds take them with no help from me.
So this summer, I’m giving myself (and you) permission to SIMPLIFY.
You’ll hear me talking a bit more in posts to come about simplifying in other areas, but for now, let’s focus on Saying Yes to a Simpler Summer.
Here are 5 ways I plan to simplify my summer. Join me if you’d like!
1. Plan some easily accessible activities for your children that they can do independently. Crafts and activities get pretty stressful for me if I have to set up, supervise and clean up every step of the way. I usually just avoid them for that reason. So, for our summer I threw together a bug exploration sensory box, an ice cream sensory box, made some new play dough, and even put together a paint box- all of which most of my children can do on their own from start to finish including cleaning up and putting away! Fun for them- no stress for me! Special note on the paint box- I used large pill containers from The Dollar Tree and filled each slot with a different color of washable paint. It works really well and I don’t have to supervise pouring paint!
2. Take advantage of what other people have already planned! We are planning on participating in our local libraries’ summer reading program this summer. They always have great activities and events that are fun and free and require absolutely no planning on my end except getting everyone ready and getting there (which admittedly isn’t always easy, but it’s easier than planning and implementing something)! There are also summer concert series, story times, art museum activities and other local events that do all the planning for us! We will just decide on the day of each event if we will go or not. No pressure either way!
3. Unless you have a simple, easy to accomplish one- ditch the summer bucket list. It’s okay to not have each day planned and it’s okay to release some of that pressure to make each day monumental. Trust yourself and know that you will do plenty of fun things with your kids. You don’t need a check-off list to ensure a great summer! Embrace your spontaneity.
4. Partner with a friend and plan some simple park play dates. Bring some sand toys if the park has sand. Pack or grab a lunch on the way and let your kids enjoy lots of unstructured time. Tote along some bubbles, sidewalk chalk and even scooters and bikes if you’d like.
5. Pick one fabulous thing you’d really like to do over the summer, make a plan and do it! Isn’t this much less stressful than planning an entire list of activities? The chances that you will accomplish just this one thing are probably really good and you can end your summer satisfied instead of disappointed that you didn’t achieve everything you thought you would.
Happy summer ladies! May it be satisfyingly simple!