Summer Survival, Part Two

lois ehlert book garden


Summer survival with the kids is a serious business people!  We’re out to enjoy summer vacation, not go crazy. Let’s make some memories, get unplugged, enjoy time with our families… all while keeping the house somewhat clean.

No, this is not the  impossible dream of a raving book lunatic (that would be me), but my summer reality. Now it can be yours too. Honed after years of practice we achieve the miraculous using two things:

  1. 1.A daily plan of activities for the kids to complete
  2. Plus a weekly roster of family outings.

Time now for the second half to be shared.

Don’t you hate when a blog promises some tips, but you have to slog through paragraphs and paragraphs of blather before you get to the good stuff? Me too.

Introduction babble is done. Let’s get started then, shall we?

Our Weekly Summer Survival Agenda

Again, this is just a guideline more than anything else. Something we strive for.  When you have four bored boys home for two months, having a plan keeps things running smoothly. On weeks when we’re not off camping, setting out on a road trip, or anything else that crops up, this is our plan of family fun. Enjoy!


summer survival Bookanner art

Monday: Art Day

While doing something creative is part of our daily lis,  this is something more special . It’s a planned art project that we all do together. It grew from the weekly art days  with my preschoolers… and my annoyance that  I never seemed to do any with my school crowd.

Forget simply pulling out the paints, or playing with the chalk on the driveway (save that for any other day of the week). Art day is when we do something special. Make paper masks. Draw self-portraits. Create that comic book we’ve been meaning to do for months. We get covered in paint, and festoon the kitchen counters with our masterpieces. Unsure of where to start? Check out my new Pinterest board for ideas. Then go play with the crayons!


Tuesday: Library Day

Summer camps are pricey, but the library? Now that’s a budget friendly wonder! It’s the all you can read buffet. Sample some science fiction, gorge out on the graphic novels… No matter how many books you indulge in, there’s no judgement here! Chockfull  of books, plus a packed schedule of summer programs- this is nirvana.

Need some great book recommendations? Look no further than my summer reading list for kids.

Here readers, and those on their way to become one, will find something to love. You just have to look through the shelves a bit. Frazzled parents, rejoice! When it comes to summer survival, the library has your back.



Wednesday: Picnic/Park Day

Pack a picnic, bring the water guns, the chalk, and tons of sunscreen… this is the day we campout at the park for a good, long time.

Waterparks are our favourite, and the middle of the week is often the best time to go. Less crowded. It’s summer  though, so you can always count on someone else being there. This is a bonus, because then your kids have someone new to play with for awhile. Just not a crowd as that makes it harder to keep track of everybody. (I get nervous when the head count doesn’t add up the way it should.)

Dress the kids in bright colours.


Thursday: Craft DaySummer survival crafts

I used to hate crafts, and with good reason. Ironic now, given the joy I find in such things as knitting or sewing.  So many of the projects I was forced to do as a child were pointless though. Sure, they were cute, but other than dust collectors, they served no other purpose.

I don’t know about you, but my family and I have enough clutter and junk taking up space in our home, thank you very much. I like to keep the crafts fun, but useable. Practical? Well… It’s never been my strength. Don’t forget; a lot of use can be had from a cardboard box before it’s ultimate destruction.

Valuable can be skills are learned. Few of us are immune to the thrill of making something all by ourselves. Mostly though, we do crafts because it’s tons of fun!


Friday: Adventure Day

This one’s my favourite! This is when we go out and do something extra special and the sky is the limit. Provided it fits our finances, of course.

Fun need not be expensive. Sometimes we splurge: go to the amusement park (the boys are already asking when the Stampede is coming to town), the zoo, a museum… but there are other adventures which we love that  don’t take our wallets to the cleaners. There’s the beach, a u-pick berry farm, exploring a nearby provincial park, and more.

Pretend your a tourist and enjoy what your home town has to offer.


 Survival of the Prepared

So there you have it. My survival guide for the summer. Any suggestions for improvement? I’m all ears, so please comment below.

Now that we’ve worked out to keep the kiddos happy, we can start taking care of ourselves now too. My ultimate list of summer reads for adults is coming up. So stay tuned, you won’t want to miss it!

Until then, let us all venture out, and enjoy everything summer has to offer.







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