Summertime with Kids
Summertime….and the living is easy?
by Evelyn Cucchiara
Ah….summertime. That season of the year when everything slows down and you get a chance to relax. At least in theory. Reality might be a bit different, especially if you have kids. If you’re not careful, you may just replace your hectic running around school time schedule with a hectic running around summer time schedule. Except it will now be accompanied by a side dish of guilt because you know that summertime is supposed to be when you slow down and relax. A vicious circle. Time to jump off that merry-go-round.
Summer can be all you remember it being when you were a child. Long lazy days and what seemed like unlimited time. You just have to do a bit of organizing before the season starts. Some ideas to get you started:
- Don’t sign up for more than 2 scheduled activities. What sounds like a great idea now won’t be so great in a few weeks when all you and your kids want to do is relax.
- Sit down with your family ahead of time and find out what activities/day trips/events they want to do this summer. Keep a list. Tops on our list is going to an amusement park, having giant ice cream sundaes for lunch one day, scheduling a trip to a different library once a week followed by reading time, watching movies (complete with popcorn and snack bar) on rainy days…….. you get the idea. Find out what is important to your family – don’t worry about what the neighbors are doing.
- Once a week, enlist one of your kids to help cook dinner. They’ll learn important life skills, you’ll spend quality time together, and hopefully when they get older they will take over some meal prep!
- Try this idea year round, not just in summer – so that I don’t end up being the maid all summer, we schedule two family clean-ups a week just to keep the house in shape. What’s a family clean up? We ring a bell, all family members gather, each member picks a chore to do (in our house you get a choice of dusting, de-cluttering, vacuuming or a quick cleanup of the bathroom.) First come, first choice. This keeps the house in decent shape.
- To keep the kids busy and give them a sense of contributing – son #1 is in charge of sweeping off the front walk daily, son #2 handles blowing off the driveway and deck weekly. (Son #3 is 18 and has an actual paying job out of the house.)
- Two birds with one stone idea – the kids clean out their bedroom and playroom and gather any toys they haven’t played with in a year. They can play with them for a few more days, then we list them on Craig’s List or eBay and they get to keep the money.
Those are a few ideas to get you started. Just remember, summer is about slowing down and recharging for the next year. If you don’t have time to read a few pages of a book just for pure pleasure this summer, something is wrong. Plan a lose schedule of events and activities, and you should end up in August reflecting on what a great summer you had, not wishing you had done more.
An important part – don’t forget to schedule some time with your friends – no kids allowed! A girl’s night out at the movies, some couples meeting for drinks at an outdoor watering hole, whatever sounds good to you! Just be sure to organize it before the summer slips away……………………………..
Hello everyone! I’m Evelyn Cucchiara and I’m a mom, business owner, author & blogger from New Jersey. My organizing experience comes from the trenches, so it works! Here’s my life in a nutshell: I’m a mom of three boys, I own and operate a children’s art studio, I write 2 blogs, I wrote an eBook on organizing entitled “30 Days to an Organized Home”, I tweet daily organizing tips and, along with my husband, I own a house flipping business. Want more info? Visit one or more of my websites:
http://www.bestorganizingtips.blogspot.com for daily organizing ideas http://www.comeongethappyblog.com for ways to bring happiness into your life
My art studio web address? http://www.artadventuresartstudio.com.
And last but not least – my eBook website http://www.organizingwithevelyn.com
And if you’d like to follow me on Twitter: @organizingwithe