Let's face it...the so-called "lazy days" of summer don't exist when you have children. Yes they are more, ummm, unstructured. But LAZY they are not.
I have always had summers off, either as a teacher or as a daycare provider because I only have teachers' children (but I am open 1 to 2 days a week in the summer). Oh, and NEVER say to a teacher "It must be nice to have summers off". Because you know what? It is nice. But it is more like 9 weeks, and it is the ONLY perk and break we get from everyone else's kids. We sacrifice all school year, work well beyond the school day, plan, have meetings, and grade school work. Teachers deserve that damn break. And they don't get paid for it. They get paid for the number of school days they work and that pay can get spread over 12 months. It is not a 3 month long paid vacay...alrighty? Now I will step off my soapbox.
Where was I?
Oh yes, summer and kids.
In my opinion, it's all about tiring them out. Isn't that what it comes down to? Keep them as busy as possible so they think the are having the times of their lives while really all we parents are working towards is a reasonable bedtime.
So for give me 5 for Friday, here are 5 ways to tire the shizz out of your kids all summer long...
1. Water. ANYTHING with water. Pools, oceans, sprinklers, lakes, the bay, a hose in the backyard. You name it, there is a magical thing that happens when you combine warm weather, sun, and water. Kids are just EXHAUSTED.
2. Ride, Sally, ride. Let those kids ride anything with wheels until the cows come home. Go to a park or a track...like the longest course you can find. Have them ride bikes, scooters, or these really cool kickboards. Challenge them to race (each other, NOT you). Just when they can't go any further, off them a little reward if they take another lap. There little legs will be screaming for a nap or bedtime!
3. Schedule as many playdates as possible. Have friends with kids? Call 'em up. Fill up the calendar with fun filled days. Keep it on the cheap and go to the park, or a pool (see #1), or just go to each other's house and let the kids play outside. The more kids, the better. It should be pure chaos for maximum exhaustion.
4. Have them help with yard work. This may not seem so great to the kids...but you can make it fun. Give them gloves and show them how to pull weeds (while you supervise of course). Let them water the plants. Give them a toy mower and have them pretend to cut the whole entire yard...twice.
5. Do some other outdoor projects, like wash the car. Kids love that one. Then you are also combining two tiring activities...water and outdoor work. When they think they are done, tell them they missed a few spots and keep the "fun" going a little longer. The Dollar Store has large sponges and microfiber mitts that kids love. Put them to work...and you will be rewarded. You will have a clean car AND tired kids. Win-win.
So what activities do you do during the summer that tire out your kids? Because a friend of mine would like to know. Not me though. I love when my kids are full of energy and expecting constant entertainment until 10 pm EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. Love it.
But my friend might like some suggestions...