Have you ever entered summer with a lot of enthusiasm for all the things you and your children are going to do, and suddenly it’s mid-August? Where does the time go?
At our house, we learned that the best summers don’t just happen… they involve a little bit of planning. Here’s how:
- With a calendar for June, July and August with room to write, choose a color for all family members and write their name in color on the calendar
- Write dentist appointments, trips, etc., on the calendar so you can see the summer at a glance. Use the colors instead of writing names every time (“Dentist” in blue means Eric.)
- Call a family meeting. Include a good snack or dessert if you can.
- Ask each family member to write down all the things they dream of doing over the summer.
- Let them know there are no guarantees that you can do everything, but you will have a better chance for success by writing them. For little ones, ask them and write for them.
- With an open mind, listen to all the ideas as family members take turns sharing their list of “Dreams for the Summer.” Rule: No criticism or put-downs.
- Share snack and adjourn.
- Write down dreams in common (library, camping, amusement park, etc.)
- Write down ideas for individuals (play dates, fishing, swimming, hiking, making a fort, etc.)
- Investigate prices for things that cost money or ask children to help collect information.
- Compile all the ideas on one page: Common and Individual dreams
- Share info at another family meeting.
- Use calendar to choose dates.
- Decide who will make reservations when needed.
- Continue to have short meetings once a week. Share memories: the best thing, worst thing, funniest thing that happened since last week. Work out final details and make plans.
You can also keep an album, a journal or a blog about your summer. The more the children are involved, the more fun it will be. Now relax, and enjoy your summer!