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In less than one week, my daughter will finish this year of preschool and be off for summer vacation.

The thought both excites and terrifies me.

I am looking forward to getting more time with her, and to really take in how much she is growing. At the same time, the thought of having her and my son home, full time, with just me, with no breaks (my daughter doesn’t nap anymore) makes me nervous.

How will I find me time? How will I keep the kids entertained? How will I be able to be the fun summer mom I’d like to be?

(Or will I be the low patience and stretched-thin mom that I often find myself to be these days?)

Oh man. That meme gives me all the feels. With my daughter that means I only have 15 left! And really, only maybe 10 or so years before the kids will be happier to be off with friends than with me. That perspective shift leaves me wanting to make the most of the Summer and soak in my sweet kiddos.

I am determined to do my best to make the most of these 10 weeks together!

But in order to do so, I need at least a loose routine or schedule for us. If I just wing it, I’m more likely to do nothing, and we don’t want that. When I get overwhelmed by momming I tend to keep us home, but I know it’s so much better for all of us to get out, get active, and have fun. I just need to plan for it!

I would love to have the energy or brainpower to be a Pinterest mom full of exciting home science experiences and activities, but I’m just not there yet. So while we may not be pressing flowers, growing crystals, or doing sensory bins, we will still be having fun on the daily.

15 summer activity ideas that don’t require you to be as crafty as the next mom.

Reference this list to set up your routine ahead of time, or use it as needed when you can’t come up with what to do!

  • Go to the zoo
  • Go to the park
  • Set up playdates with friends
  • Put the kids in the gym’s child care (I call it the “playroom” with my kids) while you either workout, do work in the lounge, or do nothing but sit and veg on your phone. Our gym permits up to two hours!
  • Go to a local splash pad or public pool
  • Go to the beach
  • Go on a walk in the neighborhood, around a lake, or on an easy hiking trail
  • Go for frozen yogurt
  • Go for a smoothie
  • Dine at a restaurant with a children’s play area (San Diego is getting more and more of these!)
  • Go to a movie (bonus if your local theater has a family movie hour where babies, kids, and noise is expected while volumes are lowered for little ears!)
  • Get a break from the sun at an indoor soft play place
  • Explore a local children’s museum
  • Go to the kids area in a local bookstore like Barnes and Noble (they sometimes have scheduled story times too!)
  • Attend children’s events at a local library

I will plan to do certain activities on specific days, and I will leave certain days open for spontaneity.

Hopefully being intentional with our daily plan will enable us to take advantage of our Summer together to have fun and create memories!

Happy Summer vacation, everyone! Tell me what your favorite activity with your children is. And let me know if there are other activities I should add to this list!

Christina Furnival

Christina is a mom to two wild and wonderful kiddos, a licensed psychotherapist (LPCC), the founder of her website ChristinaFurnival.com and therapeutic motherhood blog Real Life Mama, and a children's book author of a social/emotional wellbeing series, Capable Kiddos! She and her Scottish husband are raising their family in San Diego, where they love to hike, play soccer, cook, walk around the lake, and go to the beach.

2 thoughts on “What to do with your kids when they are off from school: Summer Vacation Activity Ideas”

  1. Oh, the summers home with my boys! lots of adjustment time, fun time, then back to school adjustment time! enjoy your 10 weeks!

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