Saturday, June 2, 2007

Welcome Summer!

So school is out and the official Summer season has started, regardless of what the calendar says. When I think about all of the real life pressing issues - I think about this moment in time and I know that there is something magical about being a child.

At least....I believe it should be.

The passion with which my children have fun is something new to me. I think I'm more reserved in nature, and even though I thought I knew about fun - I really didn't. My children know about fun!

So, as we embrace that Summer is here and mom has to get in gear...I thought I'd give my top picks for fun on a thin dime with the kidlets.

1. The library! Summer reading programs are a gift to a mom who wants to encourage reading. We have a pretty good library, but more importantly, we have access to several library systems because of the school. Kids read books. Kids get prizes. What an easy way to tie in some good fun with great books - so we have standing weekly dates with our library, a few programs, a few make and take projects and most important - Reading as a family.

2. Free movies! At the main movie theaters there are programs to show PG and PG - 13 movies for free during the week. When we lived in Michigan the day was Wednesday and you had to get there a bit early to guarantee a seat. Here in Indy, yipppppeeeee - 2 days, 2 films a day, and large comfortable theaters to enjoy.

3. The Zoo! We believe in ZOO memberships so that we can explore often. I make it a point to statistically prove that the zoo was a good investment in every season. With the Summer weather and heat, we tend to go early in the day or late in the afternoon, frequent just a few exhibits and play in the play area. The true saver - pack your lunch and snacks! In addition to not being healthy, I'm still trying to see how it cost $45 to feed 4 folks on a day that I was not prepared.

4. The Science Center/Children's Museum - fun, fun, fun! Indoor fun is a must during the summer hot days and allows for recreation and movement, enough to suit all ages. Sometimes I'm creative and come up with special projects and stuff to do - other times I just enjoy the new exhibits. Membership is once again the key!

5. For the last year or so I have had a gym membership to Lifetime Fitness. It is a worthwhile investment because of the child care system (2 hrs./day for each adult) and because of the facilities. In a later post I will talk about the magic of explaining a country club, or lack thereof to a 7 year old, but for now lets just say - this is our country club. Indoor and outdoor pools, exercise equipment, childcare to actual get a workout in, and hours and hours of fun. My reality is - it is only worth the investment when you go and use it. This Summer my commitment is for 3 days a week for the kidlets, and 5 days a week for the moma!

6. Vacation Bible School. I know that when I volunteered at VBS I took my job seriously and worked with the children to have a fun, learning, crafty time with a focus on God. I have seen VBS done really, really well. And....I have seen VBS done really, really bad. My hope is to find a really good one that all the kids will enjoy, and volunteer to help too. (Our church is too new for our own program, I think we partner. Great thing - this is an opportunity to visit other programs and churches.)

7. Park exploration! I know of 3 parks in our community - and there are 15. During this season we can set out to determine which one is our favorite, and pack a picnic lunch and call it a day. It takes us forever to get out of the house, and so when we leave - we are usually gone for the majority of the day. That is .... unless client commitments have to be completed.

8. Plant Paloooza. The most inexpensive projects in the summer can do a world of good for our landscape and my stress level. Dirt, seeds/plants, tools! We've got the making for messy fun.

9. Pen Pal Season. With the traveling and the transition that every season brings, it is a great time to write those you care about and tell them hello. The kids love to get mail, and I explain all of the time that you tend to get more mail when you actually stay in touch with folks. This helps us to stay connected with friends, family and our family elders, too.

10. Play Dates! The only difference here - we are adding a road trip. When we go visit our friends and invite them to visit us, we are banking on kid fun factor - not expensive excursions. I'm not against investing in fun, but the slumber party, stay up late, play all day experience is lost in our over scheduled lives. We can't wait for some of our buddies to visit so they can help us explore how much fun a family can have - intentionally working together.

Now, all of that said.......

Our short list of investments include:
- A water park
- A trip to the beach
- An amusement park
- A state park w/the chance to canoe and hike
- Tennis/Dance Camp!

I'm open for any creative we launch into the season of 24/7 fun!

No comments: