"Dear Vonnie" Summer Ideas

Each Thursday, I will do my best to answer your questions. I don't pretend to be an expert, but I know it's not easy being a wife and mother. It can be frustrating and discouraging, yet very rewarding. I'd be glad to listen to you, pray for you, and share some of my thoughts with you.

So, ask me something... anything...

Dear Vonnie,
With the increase in heat seems to come an increase in sibling bickering. I don't know how to keep my children busy this summer. Any suggestions?

Dreading Summer

My mother would be the best one to answer this question. She met us at the kitchen door on our last day of school with a schedule and plan for our summer months. But, since she's not here, I'll try to remember some of ways she kept us productive and out of trouble.

I've divided my ideas into groups:
work, fun, and educational.

Daily chores of laundry, vacuuming, dishes, feeding pets, and even cooking should be part of each day. Summer is a good time to teach your chldren new skills, when they don't feel the rush and stress of school. Work beside your children, or make a game of finishing their chores. Play some lively music to liven the atmosphere.

Summer is also a good time to let your kids earn some money for extra chores- fifty cents or a dollar for smaller jobs, five-ten dollars for bigger ones.

1.rearrange and organize bedrooms
2.plant a garden (vegetable or flower)
3.paint the porch or fence
4.wash the car ( a nice way to cool off)
5.mow the lawn (for an older child)
6.yard sale or garage sale (or donate used items to a shelter or charity)

Fun times should be rewards after they have helped you with chores. You will be able to enjoy spending time with your children, if you know the house is clean before you go. Plan something fun at least two-three times a week, but also give your kids LOTS of nothing time...no TV, computer,etc...to teach them to use their imaginations. Nothing time is important mental and emotional growing time...time to just think and listen to God speaking to them.

You don't need lots of money to have fun. Your children don't need to be part of an organized team or go to a summer camp. A few friends at a local park or empty field can have wonderful fun together.

1.play ball (kickball, soccer, baseball, any kind of ball
...younger kids don't care about rules...just have fun)
2.swimming (lake, pool, beach, or even sprinkler)
3.camping (even if it's in the backyard)
4.fishing (nothing fancy...a simple pole and a can of worms)
5.hiking (vary length according to the age of the children)

If you get excited about these, then your kids won't know the difference between them and FUN. Search out things in your community. Many of them will probably be free.

1.library (storytimes, reading programs)
2.museums (gear toward their interests and attention spans)
3.forts or historical sites
4.county fairs (encourage participation, if possible)
6.board games (good for rainy days)
7.make cookies or pizza

What are some of your favorite summer activities?

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