Summer vacation is here! School is out, and the kids are bouncing off the walls! That means water wars, popsicles, and backyard bug hunting…at least on the first day. After that? It’s an endless chorus of “I’m boooooored!” and “There’s nothing to dooooo!” Well, at least it can get like that at my house.
As much as I love my little darlings, I can’t help but want to rip my hair out and ship them off to Timbuktu when the summer squabbles and boredom start. So, much to their chagrin, a couple of years ago, I decided to organize their summer vacation.
And it worked out better than I could have hoped. Summer vacation is still a little hectic on some days, but it’s not the crazy whiny circus that it once was. I managed to accomplish a relatively organized and fun summer vacation with a few simple steps…
Create a Schedule
Imagine going from a completely structured day to a day with absolutely no schedule. That’s what it’s like at the start of summer vacation for a lot of kids. To keep the boredom at bay and the kids busy, I created a loose daily schedule to help keep them on track.
Your summer vacation schedule doesn’t have to be strict and rigid at all, but it should give them some sort of structure. For instance, our summer vacation schedule designates breakfast and lunch times, chore times, and reading times, among other things. It’s loose enough to account for any impromptu activities, but it still gives them a little structure.
Start a Bored Bucket
I read about a “bored bucket” a few years ago, and I’ve been in love with the idea ever since! A bored bucket is really very simple; it’s just a container filled with ideas for fun things to do. When the kids are bored, they can pull out an idea to give them something to do.
Your bored bucket can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Ours is just a container with ideas written on slips of paper, and we sit down at the beginning of each summer and come up with ideas. You can also use popsicle sticks, though. You can also have a couple of different bored buckets for different occasions, or you can color coordinate your ideas. Red for family outings, for instance, and blue for ideas to keep the kids busy.
Make a Bucket List
A summer bucket list is a must have in our home each year. At the beginning of summer vacation, we come up with a little list of awesome things we can do together as a family.
Some ideas are simple, like night swimming, while others are a little more involved, like the two day hiking and camping trip we did last year. You can also include things like zoo visits, fishing trips, taking a trip to local landmarks, and visiting a neighboring town.
Put Together Vacation Bug Out Bags
Getting everything around to take a quick day trip can be a daunting task. If you find yourself staying home more often than not because you don’t have the time or energy to pack everything up, consider putting together some family bug out bags. They’re like prepper bags for the busy family!
Gather up a couple of old backpacks and fill them with any essentials that you might need during a day trip or family outing—extra clothes, diapers, water bottles, snacks, games. This way, they’ll be ready on a moment’s notice, and you can just bug out the door and be on your merry way to some family fun!