Summer is weird to me. In theory, it seems like it should be the best season of the year. Warm weather, outdoor fun, a more relaxed schedule...What's not to love? But since entering adulthood, Summer and I have had a love/hate relationship. I don't know what it is, but my mood seems to dive with Memorial Day and doesn't bounce back until after Labor Day. Maybe it's the lack of routine. Or too many daylight hours. Or the fact that I've usually had to work in an office indoors all day while my heart is in the summers of my childhood, where there are endless hours to play outdoors and dream. Whatever the case, I've found that my Summer Blues are much improved when I have something to look forward to.
Enter the Sabelhaus Summer Project!
This summer, a bunch of things have come together to give me a much anticipated summer. First, my children are big enough to make outings about 50 billion times more enjoyable than they were a few years ago. I am unemployed for the moment, making me a full-time at home Momma with very little scheduled this summer. And if we stretch our dollars, we can afford a little bit of extra gas for local trips and treats. So, my brain has been churning away, excited to make this a summer I can enjoy with my kids. I truly want them to experience some new things...learn through fun...pick up some values along the way...and most of all, NOT BE BRAINLESSLY BORED. Believe me, I am so very OK with some daily TV time, game time, and general chill time. But when I don't set up some kind of structure, we seem to digress into endless video games and TV...and well, Facebook for me...
So. Ahem. I made a list of things we can do this summer. Included are some general guidelines to the day that will help them earn their weekly allowance. Most of the activities are cheap, free, or use items we already have. When I share the list with my kids, they will also know how much it costs. If they really, really want to do something that's a little out of the budget that week, I may ask them to chip in. (Right now they have more cash on hand than I do, so I don't think it's a bad deal. Financial literacy and all.) The places mentioned are mostly local to Terre Haute, Indiana, and I've tried to include a website for reference. If you live somewhere else, perhaps they will serve as a starting point if you're looking for some new things to try this summer. I got a few of my items from other people's summer lists, so feel free to borrow! When I started writing them all down, however, I was pleasantly surprised about the number of things there are to do around here with kids. Goooo Haute! These activities are also geared toward kids preschool to mid-elementary school age. I'm guessing my almost five year old probably won't relish every moment at the history museum, and my nine year old might roll her eyes and opt out of story time at the library to read her own big kid stuff...but hey, we're a family, and sometimes you must make compromises to accomplish the goals of the team. I plan to ask my husband and the kids if they have any other ideas and we'll see if we can do some of those, too. Hopefully, I'll have an update or two to share with you as the summer goes along. I don't always do parenting type stuff on here, but this list seemed pretty natural to share. So before I babble on incessantly, I give you....
"I'm Bored" Is Not Allowed:
Week day summer rule- Before you may play computer, Wii, or watch TV, the following must be completed:
1. Straighten your bed.
2. Get dressed and brush hair/teeth.
3. Eat breakfast.
4. Read a book, write, or do something math related for 30 minutes.
5. Complete any other chores Mom assigns you for the day.
6. Like the rest of the year, you are still responsible for having a clean room, taking all dirty laundry to the laundry room by Saturday, feeding pets, and washing the basement bathroom sink.
When chores are done for the day, here are some things we can choose to do this summer! Maybe you can think of some ideas to add! Let's see how many we can mark off the list, and let's not be borrrrrrred.
1. Visit the library. Get books, do the summer reading program,and go to library events. (Story time every Wednesday at 10 am.) http://www.vigo.lib.in.us/yp/summer Cost: FREE!
2. Go to the Terre Haute Children's Museum!
http://thchildrensmuseum.com/ Cost: FREE for members- that's us!
3. Visit the Nature Center and Native American Museum at Dobbs Park.
http://www.terrehaute.in.gov/departments/parks/city-parks/dobbs Cost: FREE!
4. Go swimming! How many places can we swim? We could try...Hawthorn Park, Fowler Park, Sullivan Lake, Shakamak State Park, Lieber State Park, Deming Park...
Cost: FREE to a few bucks/person
5. Make up a Lip Sync Dance. Choose a song. Make up a dance to it and pretend to sing the words. Mom will video tape it so we can giggle later. Cost: FREE!
6. See a movie! Meadows Theater Free Kids' Summer Movies are on Tues, Wed, and Thurs at 10 am Cost: FREE! (Well, maybe we'll get some snacks, too.)
Or, we can convince Daddy to take us to the Drive-in Movie Theater! http://starlitebloomington.com/
Cost: $24 for our family plus the cost of giant pickles or other concession goodies.
7. Pick strawberries or blueberries. Yum! Cost: Depends on price of berries and how long we last...
8. Visit a Farmer's Market and buy some fresh yummy produce. (Saturday mornings)
Cost: Depends on how hungry we get looking at all that food. http://www.downtownterrehautefarmersmarket.com/
9. Go for a hike. But which State Park or Rec Area to choose? There's one less than an hour away in every direction!
Cost: $5/car for an Indiana State Park. Illinois Parks are FREE.
10. Ride our bikes on the Heritage Trail.
Cost: You guessed it, FREE! But Mom will have to figure out how to get all the bikes on/in the car...
11. Listen to an outdoor concert in the park! (Usually Saturday evenings)
http://terrehautecommunityband.org/thcb.html Cost: FREE
12. Read a chapter book out loud together before bed. :) Cost: FREE
13. Make something to feed the squirrels and birds.
Cost: Recycle things to make it, plus the cost of bird seed.
14. Plant something and watch it grow. Cost: Soil and seeds.
15. Visit Ryves Youth Center and play with other kids. Maybe we can think of a project or games to bring or join in with their fun stuff?
Cost: FREE! http://www.archindy.org/cc/ryves/
16. Visit the Bouncin' Barn and jump until we're silly!
http://thebouncinbarn.weebly.com/ Cost: $5/kid Mon-Thurs
17. Learn piano or play music games on the computer.
Cost: FREE thanks to Mom and Dad and the joys of the Internet(which is not free)!
18. Set up a recycling bin and visit the recycling center so we can start using our resources more wisely!
http://www.indstate.edu/facilities/recycle/ Cost: FREE
19. Go bowling. Cost: $2.75/kid for shoe rental plus whatever Mom has to pay because let's face it, she'll be bowling like there's no tomorrow!
20. See some alpacas! And probably some nuns!
http://spsmw.org/white-violet-farm-alpacas/ Cost: FREE, I think?
21. See some cool art at the Swope Art Museum.
http://www.swope.org/visit-us/ Cost: FREE!
22. See some cool history at the Vigo County Historical Society.
http://www.vchs.co/ Cost: FREE!
23. Go roller skating.
Cost: Wednesday Family Night, $1.00 entrance and $2.00 skate rentals, so $15 for the family
24. Go to Bogey's Family Fun Center.
Cost: Mom and Dad will get you some tokens, but you can bring allowance money to play extra games. http://www.bogeybear.net/
25. Paint a masterpiece or create your own art project. (Let's get out all the craft stuff and make something. I think there's even a leather punch set somewhere...) Cost: FREE
26. Build a fort in the basement. Play the Imagination Game. Cost: FREE
27. Cook dinner for Daddy. You can help me shop and figure out what to make. Cost: Whatever the food costs, but I'm guessing we won't be having lobster.
28. Act out Bible stories. Be sure and put together costumes! Cost: FREE
29. Go to the Dollar Store and find something awesome for a dollar! Cost: $1/kid= $3(plus tax)
30. Make sidewalk chalk paint and paint the sidewalk. Cost: Couple $$ for chalk
31. Invite a friend over to play or do things with our Parents of Young Kids group from church!
Cost: Usually FREE
32. Visit a playground or park we've never been to before. Make up a nature scavenger hunt to do while we're there. Cost: FREE
33. Learn the rules a sport or game we've never played before and try it out. Cost: FREE
34. Three words: water balloon fight. Cost: We'll get the good balloons that cost more than a dollar.
35. Have a camp out in the backyard (or Uncle David's backyard). Make s'mores.
Cost: Our backyard, FREE. S'mores, a few dollars. Travel to Michigan, that may get more pricey.
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