It's summer - school's out. Sassy has been out of preschool since May 17th and Bubby finished Kindergarten on May 23. My kids are polar opposites in just about every aspect of life, and dealing with summer vacation is no exception. Bubby has been much easier to manage so far, as he's not exhausted by 3pm every day. During the school year, he was up by 7:30. He attended school from 7:50 am until 3:00 pm. By the time he got home, he was a cranky ball of exhaustion. It was hard to get him to do even the smallest tasks - all he wanted to do was relax. Sassy on the other hand needs constant stimulation. By constant, I mean from the time she wakes up until she finally passes out in the evening. She has been the cranky one with not enough to keep her entertained. She is very much a social butterfly. She needs interaction with her peers like she needs oxygen. If she does not have an activity to hold her attention, the entire contents of my purse is strewn across the living room, or she's giving herself a hair cut for the 63rd time in a month. The child is very active, and most days it's exhausting just keeping up with her.
It's not been a full month yet, and I'm already needing to get creative. They are wanting to spend too much time in front of the tv. Granted, we do not have paid tv - we stream our tv from Netflix and Hulu Plus. However, there is still enough content to keep them plugged in all afternoon if they were left to their own devices. I've pulled out work books, banished them to the yard on nice days, and given them simple household tasks. Those are already getting old with them, and I'm quickly starting to dread the next two months if I can't find something to hold their attention. When I say "their" I'm 97% referring to Sassy.
We already have tickets to the Indianapolis Zoo. We need to pick a weekend to make that trip. We plan on driving there the first day and doing the zoo, making mental notes on the drive down of anything we'd like to stop and see on the way back. The kids are excited about the dolphins and the polar bears. Bubby has not been to a zoo since he was 3, and Sassy was 6 months old the last time. We are going to stay in a hotel that night after the zoo. The kids have never stayed in a hotel, so that will be a fun new experience for them. The next day will be spent leisurely driving back home.
Beyond that I'm at a loss. We are most definitely scheduling some play dates with friends. It's nice to let the kids entertain themselves, and have an adult to converse with. I wish our movie theaters around here did those free summer movie programs for kids. My kids love movies so it would be nice to be able to take them during the summer and not have it cost an arm and a leg.
So what are some things that you and your family do to curb the summer boredom? Any inexpensive ideas that your kids absolutely love? My kids are just now getting to the ages where they can both participate in the same kinds of activities. We are getting out of the toddler/preschooler stage and are close to having both in the elementary bracket. I'm open to any ideas and tips from parents of older kids to help them have a memorable and fun summer.