Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer (In) Sanity: How to Keep Busy this Summer and A Family Activity Calendar

It's 4 whole days in to summer break and already the kids are bored out of their skulls. By 9:00 a.m. we've already had breakfast, gotten dressed, gone to the park or for a 'nature walk', been swimming and made a craft.   Now what do we do for the remaining 12 hours of the day?!!   Cue me to exit the house and go to work where I find dealing with demanding and pretentious spine surgeons and taking care of sick patients a relaxing getaway. Normal thing for a mom to feel on occasion, right?

In fact, when my husband came home from work tonight and asked if I would mind running to the store to grab a couple of things if he did the dishes and put the kids to bed in exchange I was out the door so fast I don't think he knew what happened.

If that doesn't sound depressing enough I found myself joking with some friends who were complaining about jury duty about how nice of a break it could be if they just looked at it with the right attitude, one of a mom of 4 for instance. I mean really, sitting around all day long reading a good book, how often do I get that sort of deal?

Don't get me wrong, I loooooveee my children, the little darlings, the lambs. But it is constant commotion around this joint even when everyone is behaving and by the end of a normal day of feeding, clothing, playing and basically just keeping 4 mischievous children alive and unscathed I'm  exhausted  by ALL means of the word.

So, this summer I am taking matters into my own creative little hands. It gets pretty damn hot here in Phoenix, so hot that when it is below 110F in July, we celebrate with glee and talk about the weather with each other like it's a new phenomenon. And when it actually rains in July, well, we run around half naked outside laughing out loud like crazy people. So being cooped up inside with 4 cranky, hot kids means you need a plan.

Plan A:
Stay inside all day and watch t.v. and eat ice cream.

Plan B:
Swim all morning. Watch t.v. Swim in the evening. Watch t.v.

Plan C:
Keep the kids busy and active while saving my sanity.

First, make a list of places in your neighborhood that might have things to do for kids or as a family.

  • Library: Get signed up for the summer reading program to win cool prizes and discover new books. Libraries also have many free summer games and activities like Lego Building contest and visitors from the local Zoo and Puppet Theatres.
  • Schools: Check your local schools for summer programs like Karate, art classes and sports programs.
  • City Parks and Rec.  Besides an assortment of activities your city may have a rec center, free evening movies and concerts in the park and classes to attend.
  • Many Churches offer activities for kids whether you belong to the church or not
  • YMCA
  • Google "free things to do with kids insert name of your city  I found a FREE 3 week long clinic at the Ice Arena near our home offered by the Phoenix Coyotes
  • Visit "" or a similar organization for tons of meet up groups in your area
  • Splash Pads are wonderful fun and usually free. There are several in my neighborhood, ask around or Google where they are in your area.
  • If there aren't any Splash Pads in your area, sprinklers, water toys and squirt guns make for a fun and cool afternoon.
  • Museums. I have lived here in Phoenix my entire life and didn't know there was a Science and Aircraft museum in Peoria, just a few miles away from our house! In fact, many museums offer discounts and fun summer camps/packages. Also, many libraries have FREE passes to local museums!

Many resorts offer discounts during the summer and have amazing swimming pools

photo source: Arizona Foothills

Next, create a calendar of your activities so your summer is stress free fun!
I created this simple calendar at  Keep and Share.

(note this is just an example of our summer activities)

When all else fails, MAKE HOME MADE ICE CREAM!!!

What are you doing this summer???

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