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Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Summer Scramble

"Mom, I'm soooooooooo bored!"

Ah - music to every mother's ears, if you like screeching sounds of alternative metal (hey - not judging!) But these are the words that most of us moms hate to hear. The kids in return hate to hear the suggestions we have "go play outside", " clean your room", "read a book!"

As a stay at home mom, I'm fortunate enough to stay home with my kids and delusional enough to think that the entire 9 weeks of summer vacation (yes I counted) will be filled with magical moments together relaxing by the pool, going on hikes, bike riding and exploring all the culture of the city.

While I do try to spend as much time with the kids doing fun stuff, or just allowing for us to have lazy summer days, I also need some time where the kids are NOT at home. The invention of the day camp is maybe my favourite parenting find of all time. These day camps aren't just about getting these kids out of my hair for the summer.  In fact I prefer them to just do 1/2 day camps and get out for a few hours a day every other week. For starters day camps are a luxury. They are expensive, especially when its for 3 kids, so we try to be picky about what we actually choose to do. Because I'm pretty sure I could use all that money to just go to Italy for the summer. Except what would I do about the kids?( You didn't think I was taking them with me did you?)

Even though the cost of summer camps denies me of my Italian getaway, this is why we like them:
  1.  They give kids a chance to try new activities: The school year is pretty hectic with hockey, school and homework, and gives us little time to try different activities. I've tried to schedule in more activities during the school year but end up frazzled. So a one week day camp trying out tennis or coding gives the kids a taste of other things they may want to keep doing.
  2.  Make new friends: I don't often book day camps based on what their friends are doing (I'm mean like that), so they end up in a new group activity where they have to meet with other kids. With school and hockey, they don't get the chance to meet new people as often as I would like them to.
  3.  New Environments: Are my kids always happy about trying a  new day camp? Nope. Do they have sometimes have anxiety about being in a new environment and trying something new? Yep. But being thrown in new environments and new situations helps they learn to adapt and develop resiliency. All the parenting books tell me.
  4. Good for my sanity: I love my kids and usually love spending time with them, especially during a lazy summer. But after about the 17th snack request of the morning, this mama needs a mental break. Having a routine and getting the kids out of the house gives me a chance to regroup and be able to focus on being more present and hopefully a better parent. 
  5. Device Bans: Keeping the kids busy means keeping them off of devices. I know I can limit their screen time (and I do), but getting them out at a summer camp helps me achieve my goal a little easier. 

But alas, it's mid-June and my lazy self has just realized that the kids are booked into ONE camp this summer. ONE. Gulp. This should be a fun summer (said in a slightly panicked voice).

Give this mama some ideas, what do you do to keep your kids busy in the summer? Share in the comments!


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