Ten outfit changes in and you’re done. Field day is over, awards day is over, sports banquet is over, and finally graduation is over. It’s official, school’s out and summer is in. As a teacher, I like to say “Tag, PARENTS it’s your turn!” That last day of school, a day as parents we look forward to for multiple reasons from a less structured day to NO HOMEWORK to no conferences and that dreaded projects. Say it with me “GOODBYE SCHOOL, HELLO SUMMER!” I know you are just beaming with all the joy and doing the Cabbage Patch.
I always start off with good intentions with summer plans but things happen and plans change. This summer, I’m going with the flow. My attempt to not lose my mind. But first, let me tell you how I got my kids crunk for summer, and you can do it too with a couple of pieces of paper and a poster board. Yes, the teacher in me never goes away, but I’m also a parent with toddlers who would like to sleep in just 60 more minutes and then wake up to them already dressed and fed. You know that is just a dream.
Fist Pumping Tips on How to Get Your Kids Turned Up for Summer
*Disclaimer: Do you boo! As in, do what works for you.
Decorate the car: Take a 5 minutes and create some signs and post them to the car windows and the seat the child sits in. Example: If you have a 1st grader, include 2nd grade on the posters. Add balloons to the inside of the car. An alternative to printing and taping would be window paint! Your child will be so excited, and all the other kids will wish they had a pimped out car.
Crunk Music: You are in carline, probably listening to inappropriate music, but as soon as your child enters the car and you drive off, CRANK it up. Obviously you would change the inappropriate parent only music choice to a more appropriate, kid-friendly selection. Suggestion: Lil Jon’s Turn Down For What. Guaranteed to win them over.
Immediate Outing: Go for ice cream, a snowball, nachos, or a park. The goal is to set them up for what summer is going to be like.
Quick Stop: Remember, it’s all fun with a twist because the education is still there. Before heading home, stop by your local library and grab a copy of summer reading and events.
List making time: Back to the poster! Once they walk in the house, make it a race to clean out their backpacks and change into a summer outfit of choice (they have no idea that you are making them do all the work for planning their summer). Pull out your poster and add “Summer Bucket List” at the top. At the end of the race, have them sit, start a timer, and list all the things they would like to do during the summer.
Are you tired yet? Do you think they are tired yet? The fun continues
Let’s Eat: Picnic style! You may have sandwiches or hotdogs or fire up that grill, but everyone is outside in their summer outfit (it’s going to get crazy real soon). Don’t forget to have DJ Alexa or Siri playing music.
Expect the unexpected: Once you notice everyone is finishing their dinner, quietly grab the water hose! WATER fight! Bunch o Balloons would be great to have on hand for a water ballon fight.
Time to rap it up: By this time, you will be exhausted and so will they. Bath time but wait! Just one more thing! Maybe two more things! Print out a “before you can play” summer expectations list … discuss, adjust, and post it where it is visible. They have tons available on Pinterest from toddlers to teens.
Finish your last day of school celebration with the question: How was your last day of school?
You have provided them an unexpected celebration that, for the most part, did not include sitting around watching TV or on some sort of technology (nothing is wrong with that, I was just that kid who drank from the water hose and played outside). Now everyone is TURNED UP for SUMMER and mom / dad, you may tire them so quickly they may be in bed by 7pm from the constant SUMMER TURN UP!