Friday, July 25, 2014

10 Activities We Didn't Do This Summer (And 7 We Did)

When the school year ends, and summer approaches, 5,489 different websites post articles like 10 Activities to Prevent the Summer Slide or 307 Summer Activities to Prevent Boredom. 

First off, I think boredom is the key to a good childhood. Kids shouldn't always be entertained. Boredom builds imagination, helps them think outside the box, and helps them learn how to occupy themselves.

Anyway, we moms all do the same thing- we scour pinterest and these websites for that perfect list, print it out, put it on the fridge, and...

End up doing like 2 things on the list all summer. Then we feel like failures as moms that we didn't complete the list of summer activities that some stranger told us we should complete.

I'm here to say...

Screw it!! You are NOT a bad mom for not completing your summer list. You are NOT a bad mom for not entertaining your kids every second of the summer. You are NOT a bad mom for letting your kids relax all summer.

My post today is my list of activities that we didn't do this summer; things those other websites inadvertently make me feel bad for not doing. That I'm a failure as a mom because I didn't complete our list shit ends here, today. I did pull these off of actual lists I googled, too.

I also threw in some things we actually did do this summer, to show y'all what a typical summer for my kids is like. It's not glitz and glamour, I'll tell you that!

10 Activities We Didn't Do This Summer:

1. Learn a foreign language. We downloaded Japanese apps to our phones when Hubby got his orders, but the only things we can seem to grasp are Hello-Konnichiwa, Goodbye- Sayonara, Yes-Hai and Thank You- Arigato (Mr. Roboto).

2. Read 1,800 minutes. To prevent the summer slide, experts advise having kids read 20-30 minutes a day. Over a 2 month summer break, that equates to about 1,800 minutes per kid. I'm 99.9% sure my kids
did not read this much, unless you count reading the subtitles when Sun and Jin speak to each other in Korean on the TV show "Lost".

3. Practice math equations for fun. I did have my kids help me calculate savings on extreme couponing trips a few times, but that was the extent of our math for the summer.

Pic Courtesy
4. Perform any kitchen science experiments that resulted in homemade goo, an art piece, or a really weird edible item. Unless you count the day The Ginger decided he wanted to teach himself how to make box mac and cheese. That was quite an experiment, that ended in mac and cheese soup, do to him adding 1/2 cup of milk instead of 1/4 cup.

5. Visit a museum. The tourist season in Tucson is from October to May, because it's 115 degrees outside during the summer. Yes, museums are indoors, but as we've already been to the children's museum and the science museum, and both here were pretty lame, I didn't see the point in venturing to any other museums in the area.

6. Learn a new word each week. I'm sure my kids heard Hubby and I say new words that expanded their vocabulary quite a bit when we got orders- like shitnado, for example, but as far as actually learning a new word from the dictionary each day, that's a negative.

7. Plan a neighborhood event. Come to my street for 3 minutes and you'll quickly realize why I don't interact at all with my neighbors. I seem to live on the street where people just sit outside their house and let their kids play anywhere they want to- in a yard, in the street, right in front of incoming traffic- it's all good. So, when I saw 'plan a neighborhood event' on several summer activities lists, I laughed... hard.

8. Build a sandcastle. Arizona has sand, yes, but come on- it's not the same. I miss the beach. Le sigh.

9. Set up an ice cream sundae buffet for dinner. Don't get me wrong, we had ice cream for dinner once... or twice. No buffet. Just me saying, "Sure, have ice cream for dinner, I don't care" on an occasion or two because I didn't feel like cooking dinner.

10. Make any crafts out of popsicle sticks. We ate popsicles, yes. Make crafts from the sticks? Nope, sorry. We just threw them in the trash. Call us boring, I guess.

7 Activities We Did Do This Summer:

1. Successfully watch seasons 1 and 2 of Lost, and are on our way to having season 3 completed soon. If I had my way, I'd be done with the whole series, but the kids wanted to do things like sleep, and eat, and take showers. Blah.

2. Paint our toenails- well, The Girl and I did. The Ginger- not so much.

3. Go camping. That was our mini vacation for the summer. No huge trips to amusement parks or tropical beaches; we headed to the mountains and camped for 3 days as our vacation.

4. Play Ticket to Ride... a lot. If you have no idea what this game is, look it up. We own Ticket to Ride and Ticket to Ride Europe. Next, we're getting Ticket to Ride Asia, in celebration of our upcoming move. It's way more ruthless than monopoly, and fun as hell. Basically, you pick out destination cards, and have to connect your train from one city to the next, but you have to try and do it without letting anyone know where you are going, because if they find out, the effers put random cars on the track to block you. Like I said, my family is pretty ruthless when it comes to games.

5. See a few movies in the budget theater. It's like $1.50 a ticket on Tuesdays. We totally took advantage of that ish, AND snuck in candy in my purse. 'Cause that's how we roll...

6. Bake cookies... and cake... and cobbler... not because some activities list told me to, but because we are a family with a serious sweet tooth problem.

7. Spend a lot of time being lazy. The kids are in school for 9 months of the year. They deserve 2 months of nothing.

End the feelings of being a failure for not completing some huge, crazy summer activity list! Comment with your summer activities (or things you didn't do) below!!

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  1. Love!
    I/We did: 1) Remind them to read every day to get their summer reading medals at back-to-school; 2) Went swimming at Nana's; 3) complain about summer school; 4) complained about the bill for summer care after summer school was over; 4) go to the zoo; 5) helped out at and attended VBS at church; 6) begin fostering Labrador Retrievers; 7) had a coronary when #1 broke his effing elbow at summer school, thereby canceling 90% of our planned activities for the remainder of the summer.

    We/They did not: 1) read the required amount; 2) beg to swim nearly as much as I thought; 3) actually beat one another senseless, though it was close a few times; 4) go to a museum; 5) go on "vacation", but not for lack of trying

    Sucks when mom and dad have to work to rack up the vacation days to stay home during school breaks. But I'd bet my last dollar they had a hell of a time at summer campus club, what with all the free field trips, and the Ice Cream Man visiting every Friday. I'd gladly pay them a dollar each every week to keep that insanity away from my house!

    1. Good grief, woman! I hope your #1 is doing better; I wasn't even aware someone could break their elbow. Learn something new every day, lol.
      I tried to head to the zoo this summer, but the 115 degree days sorta squelched that idea real quick lol.
      Thanks for sharing your list!! ;)