Today is the last day of school for my 8th grader. This year we are leaving on vacation in two days so the "I'm bored and don't have anything to do" part of summer won't start yet for our family.
I remember feeling overwhelmed by summer in years past, when all the children were home. It took effort to keep everyone busy and productive during those long summer months. About a month before, I would start preparing for summer to make sure there would be fun things to do when the last school bell rang and the kids came home shouting "freedom"! I bought interesting craft kits, English and math activity books, new toys to play with and other stuff.
And here are some of the things we did to make our summer fun:
It may sound overly structured, but I always made sure we kept to a schedule of sorts. Everyone had to be up by a decent hour, and have chores and breakfast over by 10 or so. Then we had activity time, which included things like games, reading, crafts, or attending the summer reading programs at the library. On some days we would go to the park, and we always had at least one 'field trip day' each week where I would take the kids for a day trip to somewhere around our area. Hershey's Chocolate World was a must, as was Gettysburg, the Baltimore Zoo, the Maryland Science Center, the museum in Harrisburg, etc.
Playing with friends had to wait until after lunch, and t.v. was limited to 2 hrs a day, time enough to watch a favorite Disney movie. If a good movie was playing at the theater, we'd take that in as well.
I hope my kids have great memories of all the time we spent together during those long summers.