Tag Archives: kids

How to Make a Summer Plan for Kids

School is rapidly winding down – what is your summer plan for your kids?

I work part-time and am home with my kids for the most part. As a planner myself, I don’t do well with much unstructured time. In fact, might be the one lousing around the house saying “I’m bored!”

OK, maybe not.

I think it’s healthy for kids to have a break – they have a recovering perfectionist as a mom, so they need to see me resting and set a good pattern of rest for themselves.

However, I believe a loose plan sets us all up for happier, more engaged days. Less boredom equals less fighting (I hope!), more brain activity, more fun, and more relational capital.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV)

How to make a summer plan for kids

How to make a summer plan for kids

1. Plan vacations, camps, and VBSs first.

We have a staycation planned for this year since we took a large vacation last year and also had to replace our van. We’ve set events for each day and a budget for the week. That was the first thing on the summer calendar.

Plan vacations first - summer plan

We’re hosting a front yard Bible club this year through our church, and they all happen the same week. Now that we have a kiddo in school, I’m really excited to see this pulled off!

I have already planned for each of my kids to attend one summer camp – using budgeted money that won’t be spent on preschool. I decided to not have their camps on the same weeks so that the big kids get a little more of their own time with me. Well, with me and baby Katherine that is. 🙂

2. Plan adventure days and bucket list items next.

Is anyone else as excited as I am about Finding Dory coming out?? That might have gotten on my summer calendar ahead of the kids’ summer camps.

Look at all of the possible adventures in your city. Check out that local Pinterest board you’ve pinned to but never thought about again. Search your city’s blog for fun things to do.

We’ve lived in our city for 8 years, and there are still many things we haven’t done yet. Some of those are on our summer plan list. A few have hard and fast dates; others are just on “the list” for those free days.

There are also so many fun backyard adventures to have – I have a ton pinned here:

 

3. Plan the “standard” day last.

Once you have the big items on the calendar and a few of the one-off adventure days planned, think about what each “regular” day should look like.

Things I considered when making my loose, daily plan:

  • Spiritual goals: Evaluate where your kiddo is spiritually and choose some things that might enrich them spiritually. For the older teen, this might be your summer camp. For the grade-schooler, VBS might be your go-to. I encourage you to also think of a few things you can guide them in.
    • Maybe memorize 1 scripture applicable to them each month with a celebration at the end of the month (Fighter verses is a great app for memorizing.)
    • Perhaps the great reader can check out the Adventure Bible.
    • Your preschooler might be mastering the ideas of the gospel through loving conversation and discipline.
  • Educational goals: Our grade school teacher was great about giving me the growth areas for our kiddo as well as some great summer tools. For my kindergartner, I’m making goals for
    • reading
    • writing
    • math
  • Physical goals: Summer means water! Swim lessons or just having water time for familiarity is a big deal in our family. Maybe your child has a sport they regularly play and can incorporate some extra drills in a regular day.
  • Fun goals: What’s something fun your kid can’t always enjoy during the school year? Here are some ideas:
    • Video games (ours are off-limits on school days).
    • Play dates
    • Park days and picnics
    • Cooking kid-friendly recipes
    • Leisurely imagination or dress up play
    • Challenges (such as summer reading, music, or engineering)

Whew! That’s a lot, and really there’s more you can consider – in fact, I’d love it if you would share ideas in the comments or on the Facebook page!

4. Structure the day, but keep it loose.

Our regular day is going to look something like this:

Breakfast and get dressed

School activities, about 30 minutes. I will use a handful of on-level tasks plus a challenge task each day.

  • Kindergartner:
    • Handwriting – Name and Title case practice, Proverb a Day, Sentence structure practice
    • Puzzle worksheets – crack the codes/word search/crosswords (math and reading)
  • Preschooler:
      • Letter writing and sounds – I really like the School Zone books

Guided craft or free craft time with bin of supplies. Incorporate Scripture.

Physical Time! Kid yoga, tag, trampoline, play date, going on a walk or pool time

backyard fun - summer plan

Lunch, kid cooking when time/interest allows

Reading: 2 books or Smarty Pants cards as a group. 2 chapters of reading each day for the Kindergartner

Quiet Rest Time – I will have separate areas for the kids to have quiet play time with toys/books for a set time

Video game time – We love the educational app Starfall! My child who is not as interested in learning loves it, and I’ve seen her improve in letter sounds yay! It’s a steal for $35/year.

If there’s time left in the day, we will have more free play, which my kids love: legos, dolls, puzzles, board games, science experiments, backyard digging and play, etc.

This looks a little too structured, but I guarantee you, there’s time for it all plus some. Once I’ve made a plan, I stick to it generally and don’t feel any guilt whatsoever if I decide to change it later! After all,

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21, NIV)

As always, I will continue to re-evaluate my kids’ needs against the existing plan and modify as necessary. I’m looking forward to a (semi-planned) summer of fun!

 

 

Intentional May – Connecting Kids’ Crafts to the Gospel, Memorial Day, Week 5

Intentional May

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bayasaa/2693171833/ (changes mine)

In May, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 5

Today is Memorial Day, and we’re going to do this easy firework craft.

salt-fireworks-4th-of-july-craft-for-kids

The scripture focus is:

Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Philippians 2:15-16 portions, NIV

This verse is about being a witness for Christ in a depraved world. We shine God’s light (1 John 1:5) when we act out of obedience to God.

Intentional May – Gospel-Centered Kids’ Crafts for Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, Week 4

Intentional May

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bayasaa/2693171833/

In May, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 4

 

Connect Memorial Day to the Gospel

This week, we’re looking forward to Memorial Day, and we’re discussing freedom! We made the eagle craft above. I found the original idea on Babble. Eagles are such a beautiful picture of freedom and stature! And while we think of them as free, even they are under God’s sovereignty.

I shared with my kids what freedom means, especially the freedom to worship God in our country and how men and women have given their lives for our freedom.

I also want them to see that God has given them the freedom to make their own choices – choices to obey God and choose Him over their own desires.

When we talked about the verses, we made sure to also land on the true freedom we have from our sin through the cross.

Job 39:27 “Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high?”

Bonus verses:

In a desert land he found him,
    in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
    he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
like an eagle that stirs up its nest
    and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
    and carries them aloft.
The Lord alone led him;
    no foreign god was with him. (Deuteronomy 32:10-12, NIV)

You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. (Exodus 19:4, NIV)
Easter egg: Does the “eye” on the eagle look fake to you? That’s because it is! We forgot to add one, and I put a little dot on there for Pinterest’s sake! 😉

Free Printable for Teacher Gift – Chips & Queso

I’m quite a delinquent. I don’t buy into all of the Pinterest-perfect hype – although I do love Pinterest and get tons of simple ideas there!

I do, however, totally buy into getting our kids’ teachers something special. They work so hard for so little cash, and I love the opportunity to make their day.

But, I’m always planning things last minute around here, so my teacher gifts are usually some sort of food or gift card for food! (Hey, I’d like that, so I assume they would too!)

Our kindergarten teacher is amazing, and her favorite food is queso, so guess what our teachers got this year? Uh huh. Chips and queso! Fresh and hot!

Teacher Gift Chips and Queso

If this idea suits you, feel free to download and print the little punny tags for your own gift.

To download, right-click on this image and choose Save Link as… You will get a .pdf with 6 tags to print on cardstock. Enjoy!

Queso

The pdf link is also here: Queso Teacher Tag

Why am I Angry at My Husband?

Why am I Angry at my Husband

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelvynskee/ (changes mine)

I have good intentions. Really, I do – and I bet you do too!

While my husband is at work, I think of ways to bless him. I might send him a cute text or a snap. A dinner he will love is on the plan. I’m thinking of what stresses he might be dealing with today.

My thoughts wander to when he will be coming home and how I will look him right in the eyes and give him a great big kiss.

“How was your day at work?” I will ask, and he will expound while I actually pause and listen.

Then we will enjoy the kids’ laughter while we get the food on the table and sit down for our favorite parts of the day.

Except it’s not the evening yet. It’s 3:30pm, which is the new witching hour now that we have one kiddo in school full time, a threenager, and a 5-month old.

The eldest child is an angel at school, so he puts all that aside when he gets home and lets all the chaos loose. The threenager is now having attention split 3 ways, and that baby must be held again once it’s time to chop the onions.

The frustration of not having things my way – not being in control – is starting to fizz a little inside, much like a cold Diet Coke. One child disrespects while the other has a physical crisis (read: bathroom issue or pain issue). I’m trying to be consistent in my discipline to nip the disrespect in the bud, but everything is blowing up in my face.

My control freak crashes the party and throws a mentos in and BOOM.

I’m angry.

Just flat out angry at the lack of control.

The butterflies and flowers in my thought bubble pop, and in comes a storm cloud aimed right at… my husband.

I’m not sure when he entered into this mess, but he sure is the target now.

“How can he do this to me?”

“He has no idea what I’m dealing with right now!”

“He’s only home for the fun stuff.”

“Why does he choose today to be late?”

These rapid-fire thoughts are only a sample – I have quite a few more for him.

You see, the reason I’m angry at my husband is:

I’m choosing to be.

Much like you’re the ugliest to your mama (bless her soul!), you decide he’s to blame.

I want him to rescue me because of my need for security, and he’s not there, so I decide he’s incapable. I’m on my own. Again.

Thus, it’s his fault.

Do you see how the lies play into this?

I’m choosing to believe he’s at fault. I’m choosing to be angry at him. I can’t be angry at the kids – that’s what a bad mom would do, and I’m not a bad mom. I can’t be angry at myself – this is obviously not my fault.

I make a choice.

Lately, I’ve been working on making a choice for truth. When that unfound (or maybe misplaced timing?) anger rises up against my husband, I’m combatting the lies with truth.

“My husband has nothing to do with what’s going on right now.”

“My husband is for me and would absolutely help me if he were here.”

“My husband is with me in that he’s on my side, and we’ve made plans for how to handle difficult situations with the kids.”

“He’s at work, which is exactly what he’s supposed to be doing right now.”

“I’m choosing to be angry at him.” <– This one right here is the one that usually throws the water on the fire. Once I realize I have made the choice to be angry at him, I can usually be free of that malice. I still have to deal with the present situation, but my daggers are now back in their sheaths, ready to fight the real battles we face.

Do you agree with me? Have you found freedom from these lies? If so, how?