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child on a bicycle at asphalt road in early morning. Boy on bike in the city

Five Goals For Summer Break with the Family

By Melissa Summers

This weekend we saw perfect weather until yesterday when we were hurled headlong into a sweltering day. Spending the day outside sweating got me thinking about what I want out of this upcoming summer for my kids.

It’s no secret I have mixed feelings about summer. It’s hard for me to work with my kids at home and it’s been very difficult in the past to fill seven days a week for three straight months with stimulating activities. Still, I have high hopes for this summer because we’re in a neighborhood where children, get this, actually spontaneously play together.

Without carpools or invitations or themes. I also think this summer will be less draining than summers past because my kids are at independent ages that make a lot of the physical work of parenting them a lot easier for me.

My Family Goals for Summer:

1. A Solo Bike Ride

I want to see my nine-year-old take her first solo around-the-block bike ride. We wonder why our kids are (on average) more overweight than ever and then I get looks of disdain when I say I’m excited for my daughter to expand her solo world on her bike. I know we’re led to believe it’s a different world, and in some ways it is, but I can’t believe my kid hasn’t had her first solo bike ride already. This summer I’d like to see that change. Maybe next summer she’ll be able to go to the convenience store around the block to get an ice cream treat she’ll pay for with her own money.

2. Summer Tails Day Camp

I’ve signed both my kids up for a week-long day camp at our Humane Society. The camp is designed to teach kids about humane treatment and training of animals and focuses on what it takes to be a vet. My daughter is an animal lover and would like to pursue a career in the animal field. My son just wants us to get a dog sooner rather than later and will use whatever means necessary to hasten the process.

3. Our First Family Camping Trip

The thought of camping has always made my skin crawl. I’m not a particularly high-maintenance lady, but I’m also no fan of bugs, dirt and low tech sewage management techniques. I decided to take the plunge when a group of families at our new elementary school invited us along on their yearly family camping trip.

4. Relaxed Bathing Rules

I want there to be at least one day this summer when the kids have been so active and we’ve been so busy having fun that I can’t remember the last time they had a bath. I want them to be so dirty I can’t tell if they’ve got a tan but maybe not so dirty they start sprouting small vegetation. Really, what’s the point in living in the suburbs if you can’t spend your day getting dirty in your own backyard?

5. Scabbed Knees

My son has had one truly scraped up knee in his life. I can’t recall a time my daughter has even had one. Now that they’re both avid bike riders, I’d like to see some scabbed knees this summer. Hopefully, the scabbed knees will become small pink spots on their knees by the time they return to school in the fall.

For more ideas for summer, read my Burning Daylight series, but I think these five things give you a feel for what I see going on in this house this summer. To put it simply I want this summer to be like the summers I remember as a kid. I want to do things with them, I want some structure, I want some totally carefree days, I want them to be independent and I want them to remember this summer as one of the best ever.

This is officially declared The Summer That Didn’t Suck! What are your hopes and plans for your family’s summer?

Find Ideas for Summer Family Fun:

  1. Take a Factory Tour for Kids
  2. Open the Cutest Lemonade Stand on the Block
  3. Summer Fun Checklist 

Photo source: Depositphotos/candy18

About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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