Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer and Kids - My Plan (or lack thereof) for Summer

“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.”  
 - Joseph Chilton Pearce

Have you seen the parenting blogs lately? Have you been on Pinterest? The current theme in blogging and pinning seems to have to do with our kids and what to do with them this summer.

Do we send them to camps? Plan an activity for every day? Maybe work on academic subjects so our precious children don't forget all they learned in school this year?

I have a totally different take on summers with my kids. We use summers to PLAY.

Think about how our kids normally spend their day -

They have to get up at a certain time every day to go to school.

So in the summer, I let mine sleep as late as they want almost every day.

They spend every school day totally structured. Subjects, lunch, recess, etc. Doing things at a certain time, whether they want to or not.

In the summer, I like to offer my guys flexibility. Lunch time is when we are hungry - not at a rigid time every day. Play time is when we feel like playing.

Children spend five days a week having information crammed into their brain with little freedom use that information in a creative outlet. I love to hand them a pack of sidewalk chalk or a piece of paper and a box of crayons to see what they come up with.

So what does my summer look like? An open book.

Don't get me wrong. I do have a few ideas in my back pocket for rainy days or for when we need a change of pace. We made a list of things that might be fun to do. I'll pull that list out when I need something new for us. But I won't put those ideas on a schedule.

Will I damage my children by not filling the summer with educational opportunities? I don't think so. I value play and the learning that comes with it. It may not be academic, classroom learning, but it is learning in its purest form.

When we look back on our summers as a family, will we regret the things we didn't accomplish? Will we be sad about the academics we didn't strengthen? Or will we look back fondly at the fun we had as a family and the freedom to play as children?

I know that my way of looking at summer isn't the only way to look at things. Different methods work better for different families. I'm not knocking other folks' way of doing things. I just wanted to present a different view on how to handle a summer with kids.

What do you think? How planned or unplanned is your summer?

According To Denise


  1. AMEN!! That's what I think! We have a very similar "plan" over here. Throw in a goal or two, like, "Let's see how many different playground/parks we can discover this summer." But for the most part we are foot-loose and fancy-free! Let's get together and play sometime!

    1. Glad to see that I'm not alone in the lack of a plan theory :-) Enjoy the parks! I'll let you know when we are having an Open Yard (blog post on this soon), and you can come by!

  2. Love this! We will swim, we will BBQ, we will (apparently) create pizzas out of magnets, we will be filled to the brim with a whole lotta nothing! ;)

    1. Nothing is a good thing! Want me to pack a lunch and come swimming? :-) You guys are welcome to do nothing here any day.

  3. Couldn't agree more with the value of play. Enjoy your summer with the boys!

    1. Thank you! I hope your summer is a relaxing one too.

  4. Love it! Our summer is a a lot the same. We have a couple trips planned - the beach, my parents' - but no specifics within the trips. Otherwise, we much play it by ear!

    1. Playing it by ear is my favorite way to do things :-) Thanks!!

  5. We have both planned and unplanned weeks. This past week was unplanned and it was full of fun and play.

  6. It's a great way to spend a summer.

  7. Love your this post...agree!


I would love to hear what you think. And I'll write back. Thanks for making the time to leave me a message.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...