Investing in Family: The Mid-Summer Plan

Investing in Family: The Mid-Summer Plan

My daughter has recently started a love affair with a yellow plastic kazoo. At just about any time during her waking hours, one can find her little lips glued around the noisemaker as she happily hums out any tune that pops into her head.

As I watched her have a conversation with her twin sister using the kazoo (yep, kept it in her mouth while talking), it struck me that: 1. summer is here, and 2. my rugrats, including the one with the kazoo fascination, will continue to be at home with me 24/7 until September. That is a ton of potential kazoo time! I now realize that I am in need of a summer plan.


I'm not really talking about learning the attention-grabbing alert system (although this couldn't be an all-that-bad of an idea...). Rather, the S.O.S. in this case is Saving Our Sanity.

Having a summer plan in place, even if it is sketchy at best, can do wonders to ward off the what-do-you-mean-it's-only-July-4th phenomenon. Here are some ideas that may get your creative juices flowing enough to help make this summer one that will keep you investing in your family (and not running out the door!).

Plan It Out

On one of these summer days, take a moment to gather the rugrats around you for a brainstorming session. Sure, you might already have ideas of what will get accomplished during the summer (total clean out of the garage, anyone?), but it really is the kids' summer, too.

Why not take a minute to collect their ideas about what they want to do during the rest of the summer. Once you get past the "Let's take a trip to Mars!" and "I want to eat ice cream all day, every day!" ideas that your kids are sure to shoot at you, start gleaning the bits of useful ideas that you can actually work with.

Get Creative

Instead of totally ignoring the Mars trip idea, think about how you could incorporate some of that notion into the summer. Maybe it's designating one day to be themed "Mars Day" and sticking with the theme all day (it just begs for some alien pancakes!), or taking another day to visit a planetarium.

For the kid who wants ice cream all summer, pick out a few days that include something to do with ice cream. Mark those days down on your calendar, and then get creative. One day, try your hand at making your own ice cream. Another day, surprise them with ice cream for breakfast.

Whatever your kiddos come up with, try to incorporate some of it into the summer; you'll be happy for some new things to do, and they'll be happy they've contributed ideas to the family.

As busy moms, it seems we're constantly scheduling appointments of all types. Why not take a moment now, while summer is in full swing (and probably filled with "I'm bored" complaining by now) to pencil in a few ideas that can keep the summer fresh, rolling along and – dare I say it? – fun!

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Anonymous wrote:

Sat, 07/02/2011 - 00:03 Comment #: 1

What about the local park recreation centers? Do they offer frugal summer fun? I'm teaching enrichment classes for summer school and though it's not necessarily frugal (parents pay about $150 per class for four weeks) it keeps the kids busy!