Summertime is finally upon us! Sunshine and long, lazy days. Poolside and snow cones, day trips and vacates! I LOVE Summer!
Despite all the fun I plan to make Summer memorable and enjoyable for my little tribe, there are always those days where I hear 3 little words that drive my bonkers…”Mom, I’m bored.”
I’m gonna be honest, my kids aren’t really allowed to utter those words.They know their momma does not take kindly to such words and will usually find a chore for whoever says them. Seriously ya’ll, it’s inexcusable. In this day and age boredom should not exist. Screen entertainment alone should take care of all boredom, not to mention books, pools, trampolines, play equipment and toys that litter every room.
I am all about making summer memorable. We craft and play and I have board on pinterest with all kinds of summer fun. We go on adventures and vacations and day outings, but there are many days where we stay home and relax and enjoy being home. Unfortunately, I find that many of us moms can easily lose our balance when it comes to summer fun and instead of enjoying the long, lazy days, we fall into becoming cruise directors! We have this idea that we must fill in every hour of the day for our kids so that they enjoy their summer break and we run around crazy with our clip boards of activities filling every moment with things to do.
Mom, you are not a cruise director!
You can fill your kids hours with stuff on end and wear yourself and them out, but I am here to free you and tell you one thing that will make your summer more lazy, more memorable and probably more fun…
EMBRACE the BOREDOM!
If you constantly serve them with stuff to do, they will never learn how to engage and entertain themselves, nor will they ever fully realized the depth of their own incredible, childish imaginations. When you allow and push your children to entertain themselves, they will use their imaginations and it is those moments of desperate creativity that will be the most memorable.
Growing up, my brother and I had to figure out boredom on our own. Both of our parents worked and we were on our own and our sitters were never cruise directors!
We both still remember getting out our dads typewriter and we would take turns playing “Boss and Secretary.” It was always more fun to be the secretary because the secretary got to use the typewriter and all the boss got to do was make phone calls and notes for the secretary to type up.
We also “fished” a lot. For socks. We fished for socks. we made rods out of I don’t remember what, or maybe it was just string and on the end we would hook paper clips. We would gather as many socks as we could find and throw them on the floor and sit at the top of the bunk bed and “fish.”
I remember those times so vividly and they still make me smile.
I want my kids to have memories like mine.
If we each think back on our own summer experiences, I am sure that each of us have memories of games and inventions of our own design that were fueled by imagination and the want to get out of our own boredom. No one helped us or set up little craft stations or scheduled science experiments and then cleaned up our mess! No! Our parents gave us trunks of old clothes and we made plays and musicals; we asked to disassemble old radios to see how they worked, we acted out scenes from books, we crushed up berries and painted with them and we were sure not to eat them because they were poisonous (or so we thought), we made pretend rock bands, we learned to sew barbie clothes that never fit well, we created clubs with cousins and friends, we played hours of categories in the pool and no one ever reapplied sunscreen, we drank koolaid and tang, we learned to play poker and bet with beans and marshmallows and m&m’s.
That’s real childhood. Those are the things of summer I want my kids to be a part of and to remember.
So moms, I challenge you to put aside the everyday planning and the pinterest boards filled with crafts and stuff to fill the hours and embrace the boredom.
5 Ways to Embrace the Bored Moments and Create Summer Memories:
1. Say yes often.
Yes you can build a fort. Yes you can play in the mud. Yes you can throw socks all over the floor. Yes you can make a movie with my camera. Yes you can play in the rain. Yes you can make a paperclip chain. NO do not wrap your sister in duct tape! (sometimes you have to say no!)
2. Limit Screen time.
TV, movies are all great and essential to combat the summer craziness; But, TV doesn’t make room for creativity and imagination, so turn it off most of the day and teach them to fill their hours with real life living.
3. Give them ideas and help them ONLY if needed.
Pinterest has great ideas, but the key is to stay out of their play. Kids will depend on you for ideas and how to’s, but encourage them to think on their own. Allow them to make a mess and clean it up. Allow them to think outside the box. Allow them to problem solve. Allow them to get creative and go with their ideas. Don’t get involved!
4. Send them outside. A Lot.
5. Read. A Lot.
Read aloud to them everyday. Find good, exciting books full of fun and adventure that your whole family will love. This is great for all kids, from little to teens. Kids should definitely have time set aside to read on their own everyday, but I believe that we should read to our kids daily as well. It is so much more engaging and fun to listen to stories that mom reads aloud. Choose a few books that the whole family can enjoy like the ‘Little House” books or if you have a a bunch of boys, “Swiss Family Robinson” or “Robinson Crusoe” are great classics. Nothing fuels an imagination more than great literature. Imagine a summer filled with boys planning their tree house like the Swiss Family or your girls learning to make straw hats like Ma in the Little House or working on their survivor skills like Robinson Crusoe.
Having bored kids is a great opportunity! Give your kids the tools to embrace the boredom and they will build the most fun and memorable summer all on their own!