On my third edition of First Fridays I’m talking all about keeping active over the summer without getting too overwhelmed.
It’s easy to overschedule your kids and yourself in the summer. There’s so much free time, the weather is beautiful, and you want to do everything. You also want to keep your kids happy and busy, instead of bored and fighting. But, there’s a fine line between keeping active and getting burnt out.
So, I’m sharing how we decided on what to do this summer…and what we decided to skip.
Our Firsts of the Week
Before I get into how we decided on our activities this summer, I wanted to share our “first” activities of this week.
- Summer School (you can read all about it HERE)
So far, it’s been a good experience for all three boys. Minimal tears, lots of fun, and lots of learning. It’s also been pretty tiring. I’ve had to make the twins lay down a couple afternoons this week because they were so cranky. All that good behavior at school is exhausting!
- Scouting (Mr. B is going to be a Wolf Scout!)
We already have a hike planned for Saturday, he will be marching in our 4th of July parade, and attending a baseball game with the Scouts.
- Family Night at the Pop-up Beer Garden
A small, local brewery and a food truck from a local restaurant came to one of our local parks. Me and my husband could have a beer, while the kids could play on the playground. In theory, it was the perfect night. In reality, it rained!
Still, it was fun. Great food (Prime Rib Sliders!) good beer, and the boys loved playing in the rain. By the end of the night, they had all striped down to their underware and were covered in sand, since there was also a beach at the park. Luckily, that meant showers for everyone when we got home.
Clean boys = Mom wins!
How We Picked Our Activities
Did you notice how you have to register for activities months and months in advance now? Otherwise, you get put on the dreaded “waiting list,” and can’t really make any other plans. So, you actually have to start planning your Summer activities in the Spring. This is what I looked for in order to consider the activities:
With three boys and only one full-time income, we need to watch our spending.
- Type of Experience
We wanted it to be fun, yet something they would also learn a skill doing.
- Amount of time required
How many hours, how many days a week, and how many weeks was a big consideration. We’d like to take a small vacation this summer, so we want to have a little flexibility.As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t want the kids to be rushing from activity to activity, but I also didn’t want to hear them complaining of boredom.
- Stress for Mom and Dad
After the soccer experience (and actually gymnastics way back when,) I want it to be an activity the kids like going to. I know nothing is guaranteed, but if it’s something they are excited about first, that is a plus. Also, the time it starts dictates if either me or my husband can take them. Ideally, we would both be available.
What We Picked
From Mr. B’s experience with it, I knew I wanted all three boys to take summer school. Even though it’s only in the morning, it’s a 5 week program, so I didn’t want to schedule anything else during that time. It fit our criteria well because:
- It is FREE
- It will prepare the twins for Kindergarten, and help Mr. B improve his reading and writing skills. Plus, it’s at their home school, it’s a relaxed atmosphere, and Mr. B has had fun every year.
- It is 4 hours of freedom for mommy for 5 weeks! The boys all had a week off between regular school and summer school to relax, and they will still have over a month of summer vacation afterwards
- I can take them and pick them up with no conflict.
Originally, we signed all three boys up for baseball/T-ball. It was Monday/Wednesday nights for about an hour and a half. Mr. B played T-ball 2 summers ago, so I thought they would all be at the same park, and just on different fields. According to the website where I signed up, it was to go from mid-June to the end of July.
I then found out that baseball is a little different from T-ball. The starting date of practice, along with location, is up to whoever ends up coaching. Also, the games are at a totally different location from T-ball.
So, even though all three boys were excited about it, I ended up cancelling the twins T-ball. It was just not going to be possible for the twins to be in one spot and Mr. B in another on the same night. Too stressful to even think about.
It has actually turned out great. Mr. B loves baseball, and the twins like going to the practice and the games. There’s a playground where the games are played, and they make the bleachers into their own playground during practices.
I actually haven’t signed the boys up yet. While you have to sign up way in advance for our Park and Recreation Department, our gym offers swim lessons all the time. The second Summer session hasn’t even started yet, so I don’t even have to decide for another couple of weeks. Plus, who ever takes the boys can just workout during their lesson. Win. Win.
Mr. B has been wanting to join Scouts for a while now. He attended an information session a couple of months back, but then we kind of forgot about it. Luckily, the new head of recruitment is in my book club, so she gave me all the info I needed.
There are a few optional events over summer, as I mentioned above, and no meetings, so definitely not stressful. That way we can ease into it, and Mr. B can get to know some of the boys.
There are some costs for membership, including the uniform and handbook, but if he likes it and makes new friends, then it’s definitely worth it to me.
As for organized activities, that’s all we picked. I feel like it’s just the right amount for everyone. Next summer, the twins will probably get to do another activity like Mr. B.
We still have time to take a family trip, check things off our Summer Bucket List, and also time to just hang out at home.
So, how are you keeping active this summer? How did you decide?