What do you think of when you imagine summer as a kid? Beach trips, camping, sleeping in, hanging with friends? My summers were full of adventures in my neighborhood, way too much TV, and lots of claiming I was bored. My son does not get the same experience I had because my husband and I both work, whereas I had a full-time mom when I was little.
We lucked out this summer when we found our usual childcare location was doing a science focused summer program for school aged kids. During their food focused week they went to a culinary school and made pizza. For career week they got to tour our local airport. They had a week about animals and they got a demonstration from a drug sniffing dog at their school. They also get days at a local pool and other trips for each themed week. They obviously keep them active, because my guy has come home tired every day.
Physical activity is a need for my son as well. He puts the energizer bunny to shame, and I try to find outlets for it wherever I can. He has been in gymnastics for three years now and it is a year round activity, so no summer slacking there. Swim lessons are an annual thing for us as well as trips to splash pads and pools. Weekends often have us at the local trampoline park where he bounces until he is wiped and I enjoy the comfy chairs in the observation area.
The bragging part of our summer insanity is my son's love of learning. Our evenings are full of workbooks and reading. I'm becoming a regular at my local teaching supply store to pick up workbooks and projects that we do just for fun. My guy loves books, so I picked up supplies and we have been working on learning to read. He has been working on connect the dot books to work on counting and number recognition, and he has started coloring in adult coloring books with colored pencils which is making great improvements to his penmanship. Whenever he has a question that I can't answer, we do research and learn the answer together. One of our summer highlights was when he told me he wanted to go to an art museum like a character in one of his favorite picture books, so we loaded up and spent almost 2 hours looking and and talking about different kinds of painting techniques and sculpture.
I know not everyone has the opportunity to do all of the things we are up to at our house, whether due to limited time, lack of interest from the kid(s), or the other things we have going on. I love my son's constant desire to learn, even though the barrage of questions can be exhausting after a full day of work. Some days I wish I did have more time to let my guy loaf in traditional summer fashion, then I remember how much he is running on the weekends and I know any week day we had together wouldn't be any slower. So I'll save our adventures for the weekends and see how much we can learn as we go.