Yesterday on I shared an essay that I originally wrote last June about how I'm not worried about summer learning loss (http://www.sisterserendip.com/2013/06/summer-learning-loss.html ) because my ids do a different ind of learning in the lazy days of summer. While it's still true that I plan on letting my ids have a fun active summer with lots of time for playing in the woods and dirt and being bored, I still do need to do some thinking ahead to make our summer go smoothly.
Here are some ideas I've stockpiled so far:
1. Babysitting co-op! My youngest is done with preschool but the big kids are not done until the 19th, which means it's just her and me for a few wees...or is it? Not anymore! With this co-op in place, I'll watch 3-4 kids three mornings and then I'll get seven mornings of dropping my kid at the other participants' houses. WIN WIN.
2. Ice pops! Perfect summer snack but of course I like to try to keep them healthy most of the time--and of course a five kids do not agree on a favorite flavor. So what I've started doing is making 2-3 flavors at once and pouring them into the molds and putting the extra in mason jars in the fridge. When they eat ice pops, I rinse the molds and then pour some more from the mason jars and place back in freezer. Our two favorite recipes as of late are a tofu-chocolate pop from Thug Kitchen (http://www.thugkitchen.com/) ("There's tofu in here???") and a creamsicle from Super Healthy Kids (http://www.superhealthykids.com/)
3. I hit half price day at the thrift shop without kids and stocked up on books they haven't read yet. I hate taking library books out anywhere so these new exciting books will be great for day trips. I also picked up two videos they haven't seen but I think they'll like for a rainy day or bringing to my parents' lake house.
4. Stockpiling ideas of things I don't usually let them do so can keep them quite busy: fill air mattress up and jump on it, hammer nails into pieces of wood, spray paint branches or deer bones they find in the woods.
5. Dust off the facebook group I started last year and put a ton of local parents on--it's got a really original name: "People with kids who like to do stuff." It's a great place for people to share ideas of free, cheap, fun things to do in our area.