Dear Other Moms Who Have Had Kids In School And Then Had Them Home All Summer,
I get it now.
I mean… right? I thought sending Melanie off to school and then having her home all summer wasn't going to be a big deal. I mean, I've been home with her exclusively for her first five years so how would this be different?
OH. BUT IT IS.
For one thing, she's at an age were she talks and talk and talks and just wants attention all the time. Cool but I've got a full-time job and another kid, too. Also, she was doing so well at the end of the year with her new social skills teacher and working on smooth transitions. I just don't want her to lose that momentum, you know?
So what's a mom to do?
Well, this mom decided to do something about it. I'm doing Summer Mom Camp! I mean, a really laidback and relaxed version because I'm the Patron Saint of Slacker Moms but, hey! Summer Mom Camp!
Are you interested in running your own (super chill, very flexible) Summer Mom* Camp? Here's some ideas!
*Yes, I'm calling it Summer Mom Camp. That's because I identify as a mom. If you identify as a dad (or a grandparent or a whatever), just swap out MOM for DAD (or whatever) and carry on!
Summer Mom Camp Ideas
Free Library Programs
These have been the bread and butter of every parent ever. Local libraries always have classes, reading programs, special crafts, and other events all summer long for all age groups.
Sometimes, you have to pay a small fee or register for a free program so ask or check your local library's website. Heads up, even mobile libraries do these programs so ask!
Check your local movie theater and see if they are doing a summer program for families. Many have extremely discounted ticket prices or a name your-own-price option.
These movies also tend to be a more relaxed atmosphere with lots of other parents who completely understand when your kid knocks over an entire bucket of popcorn.
Chuck E. Cheese's BOGO Deal
Y'all the gold standard for all Summer Mom Camps is doing us a solid. During the month of June, Chuck E. Cheese's is running a special BOGO deal where customers can buy one large pizza and get one free!
Here's to feeding everyone's faces for less!
Since Chuck E. Cheese's is the place where any kid can be a kid – it's the perfect stop for children of ALL abilities and needs. Our favorite location even has sensory times when kids with special sensory needs can enjoy everything without feeling overwhelmed.
Also, Chuck E. Cheese's has a new way to play. Gone are the tokens (which ALWAYS got lost) and in are Play Cards. You can load them up at a kiosk with credits OR opt for the affordable All You Can Play option.
It's a new way to play and allows you buy unlimited credits for a specific amount of time. And more games equals more tickets, right?
Just let them play. Outside, inside, in a couch fort, whatever. Let them pretend the empty paper towel roll is a telescope and they are a sea captain. Running around in circles in the kitchen IS playing.
Just take a deep breathe and let it go, mama. It's fun.
No shame in this game. When we were kids, summertime meant marathon VHS sessions or playing Sims City for hours. Then, we'd go outside and play or talk to our friends on the phone.
It's a balance and it's fine.
City Sponsored Activities
Some cities actually have summer programs for kids of all ages. Often, these are free or very inexpensive and are held at various city-owned properties.
For example, our local chamber of commerce has organized water parties at the local park once a month. They use the splash pad, bring kiddie pools, and lots of hoses. It's fun and my kids love it.
Let Them Be Bored
It's perfectly fine for your kids to be bored. Boredom breeds creativity. Boredom breeds social skills. Boredom breeds free thought and imagination.
Boredom also breeds whining, which sucks, but we all have to take one for the team, right? RIGHT?
What are your Summer Mom Camp plans?
Will you be taking advantage of Chuck E. Cheese's BOGO deal? Or maybe you'll be hosting your kid's birthday party there?
It is, after all, the number one place for birthdays since a kid can be a kid, a star, or whatever they dream of on their special day at Chuck E. Cheese's!
VISIT YOUR LOCAL CHUCK E. CHEESE'S TODAY AND ASK FOR THE BOGO DEAL!
Drop a comment and let me know what you'll be doing this summer.