Founder of TodaysMama.com and co-founder of Evo Conference, a social media conference for women. Mom of 3 and wanna-be tech geek. Convert to gluten free living. TEDx: What?

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Fail to Plan and Plan to Fail

That phrase reminds me of being a teenager. Or sitting in a freshman college course and bombing a project.  But the truth is that phrase packs a pretty good punch.

I sat down today and made my families “Summer Plan”.  Every summer I seem to get to the end and wish I had done so much more.

You see, working from home is suppose to be this glorious thing that allows me to be productive and do whatever I want with my kids to boot. Well . . . it doesn’t work that way so much.  During the course of any given day I feel like I’m pulled in so many different directions that I practically forget what day it is!

Furthermore, my kids seem to be growing faster than I gave them clearance for. I feel an urgent need to spend good time with them while they still want to spend it with me.

Thus, the need for a plan.

Now my plan is pretty simple.  It accounts for a toddler in tow,  a small budget and sticking close to home, but I still hope it provides enough summer fun for the 3 of them (ages 1-7).

Summer Reading

  • Read a book together daily
  • When the book is finished end with a Movie Night
  • Art projects related to story as we go (i.e. having them draw pictures of how they visualize the story in their minds)
  • Last summer we read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It all started with me deciding that I don’t want my kids to see the movie until they’ve read the book (which is now a universal rule at our house). We did it with Percy Jackson during the school year and they loved it. When we finished the book we had a big “jammie movie night” with popcorn and candy and sleeping bags and neighbor kids . . . the kids loved it.

    This summer we’ve decided on The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian.

    Parks
    We’re going to hit a different park one morning each week.  We’ll pack lunches and be home before the toddler’s naptime.

    Field Trips
    We have a family pass to a local childrens museum/garden and I plan to maximize it.

    I also have some passes to various places that have been hanging around in my coupon envelope that have gone unused.

    At Home Activities

  • Beans – We’ve created a little “incentive program” at our house. It revolves around beans.  Every time they do a good deed or a chore that we have listed they earn beans.  For making their bed, for doing their reading, for cleaning their rooms etc.  Once they earn enough beans . . . they earn a special outing of their choice (well, their choice off of a list of places that I have pre-determined).
  • Cooking – I’m in the process of building a summer menu of weekly cooking activities for the kids (and by weekly I mean once a week).  It’s easy stuff like making our own popsicles or fruit kabobs for snacks.
  • Gardening – The kids have all ready planted their seeds (and we are still waiting for them to sprout due to our very cool Spring). Each of the kids have their own section of the garden that they will be responsible for weeding and caring for.
  • Lessons
    It’s not really summertime without swim lessons is it?  I’m looking at signups this week. Most of the programs that we would sign up for are 2 week programs.

    Vacation
    We’re sticking close to home this summer so I’m looking at the calendar to book a few camping trips (including one in our own backyard!)

    Why?
    The important thing about my list is that it is pretty close to free.  The biggest costs with most of my activities will be food (with exception of swim lessons).

    Also important – this list doesn’t stress me out.  It’s doable.  But if I miss something on it – we’ll all be just fine.

    And most importantly, my list includes a lot of TIME.  And that’s really my biggest goal for the summer, to spend lots of good time with each other.

    What are you planning to do with your family this summer?

    photo credits: FLICKR – each photo links to photographer’s FLICKR stream

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    Comments (4)

    1. Pingback: Free, Cheap and Fun in Utah this Summer « Utah Mama

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    3. amyallenjohnson 06/01/2010 at 10:12 am

      love this! basic and very do-able goals, sounds like the Johnson house is going to have a planning meeting tonight to make our goals/calendar! thanks for sharing

    4. Cecily R 05/31/2010 at 10:25 am

      The book/movie idea is FANTASTIC! I'm working on making better plans for this summer, and your “doable” ideas are much appreciated!