Is summertime a 😀 or a 😖for you?

For many moms, summer is a time of rest and loads of fun! For the majority though it can bring chaos, stress, and whatever the opposite of fun would be called.

You know what? It is also ok if you fall into each of these categories at different times throughout the summer.

Our hope here at Open Door is that you know you are not alone. While trying to work, find childcare, keep the kids entertained, etc. may seem overwhelming, we want to offer support and encouragement through these summer months. In hopes of doing just that we have compiled a list of ideas and important information that can help you stay on top of it all even in what may seem like chaos at times.

Here is a quick list of local activities for real moms because let’s face it….we don’t all get to go to Disney every summer!

1. Mommy & Me – of course, first and foremost we want to tell you about our monthly Mommy & Me activities! We will be at the Yamboree Park in Gilmer this month on June 16 with a+ Free lunch! (You must register for this event)

2. Vacation Bible School – this is always at the top of list for many families. You do not have to attend their church for them to welcome your kiddos at their VBS. AND you are not a bad mom if you send those kids to more than one during the summer! Some churches still do the traditional 5 day Bible School while others have begun holding theirs in the evenings or even once per week for a month. Check out your local churches to see when theirs is scheduled. Don’t hesitate to ask your friends and family for suggestions. We have listed just a few of the MANY available in our area!

3. Take them to the movies!Before you scroll past this one because it is too expensive; did you know that The Historic Select Theather & Lake Country Playhouse has Terrific Tuesday Classics where they show classic movies for just 50 cents per person? Obviously, you will not be seeing the latest releases but what a fun family night to get a good laugh and have an out-of-the-box experience! (Great for working parents whose kids say they are BOORRREEDD and need an easy get out of the house event)

4. TRY A NEW PARK – Obviously, your local park is always an option, but when is the last time you went to a park in a neighboring town? Doing this can have multiple benefits: the car ride (let’s be honest, sometimes having them safely in their car seats is a break in itself), take a snack or lunch (does NOT have to be fancy!) this extends your stay, gives them a chance to rest from playing, and prevents you from having to have hungry kids for the car ride home. It gets their energy out and hopefully helps them be ready to rest when you get home.

5. Public Library – check your local library because our local Upshur County Library is having a Wildlife on the Move presentation on June 15 and I think I want to go! Be sure and keep up with their Facebook page so you can see what they offer!

6. Games! – Most kids love to play games whether it be an online game, a board/card game, or a sport of some sort. Do a summer challenge! Set up a summer challenge and participate with them! Parents against kids? Girls against boys (including mom & dad) or everyone for themselves…whatever works best for your family dynamic! Make sure you participate (to help keep the peace AND TO SHOW THEM YOU CAN HAVE FUN!). For example: keep a checkerboard set up at all times. Do a tournament where the winner challenges the next player and keep that going to see who is the ultimate winner. That person gets to pick dinner for the week or gets to pick the next family outing, etc.

7. BOREDOM BUSTERS – Create a list of items you know that your kids love to do (that they can do with little or no help) and let them make a fun list of things they have to try doing BEFORE they are allowed to say they are bored. If you let them help create it they will be much more likely to use the list! We have attached an example here that you can download and hang on the fridge. But don’t hesitate to use this as an idea and HAVE FUN WITH IT by making your own too! Let them cut words out of magazines, get the markers out, let them collaborate with friends, etc.

We hope these ideas will help you create a more peaceful summer for your family! Most importantly, as a parent be sure to stay engaged! Have fun with them! Make your own list of activities to do with them because a child who is taught that you enjoy them is a child that wants to engage with the family in important ways!