Approaching the Summer of Awesome

I can hardly believe that this is the last week of school. Teacher gifts went out this week – I was talking to my sister about how teacher gifts were not a thing when we were a kid, but now they are a MUST, not that I mind, because I think teaching is a tough job and you have to be some sort of saint to want to spend hours a day with other people’s children, but it’s interesting how times have changed, isn’t it?

Starting Friday I will have three children in the house full time, and also for the first time ever, I am going to be trying to work (albeit at reduced hours, but still). I’m kind of in denial about the whole thing, choosing to focus on the fact that I don’t have to make lunches (WHEE) rather than I will shortly have no personal space for quiet contemplation or creativity, and instead will have three squeaky voices at my elbow at all times, begging for more video games and/or narc-ing on the others for sneaking video games.

It’s going to be an INTERESTING summer, to say the least.

I am still planning (hoping?) to do a couple of day trips a week, even though I now have two teen/tweens who are much more interested in having a video screen in their face than doing anything with their lame-old mom. To counteract this, I have already decided that there will be a daily limit of screen time (three hours, in case you are curious, I always want to know what other parents consider reasonable, so I’ll open the conversation here), and they can decide for themselves how to spend it, and whether to binge all at once or parcel it out. I’m hoping this will eliminate a lot of the whining and begging and mental effort it takes to be the Video Game Jailer, but we’ll see. Considering bickering and fighting and whining about being bored is likely to drive me around the bend when I’m trying to get some work done, I may turn out to be a bit of a marshmallow when it comes to enforcement. I have no Illusions of Backbone here.

In any case, I still went ahead and optimistically made two lists this year – one of places to go and visit, and one of “no-screen” activities that I’m hoping I can point to when they are going into video game withdrawal (although most of these require my personal supervision so I may have shot myself in the foot here). Here’s our plans:

Places to Go / Day Trips

Altitude Gym Clip and Climb
Karter’s Korner (likely more than once, they are in prime go-kart age)
Saunders Farm
Art Gallery
Rock Balancing at Remic Rapids
Westboro Beach
Petrie Island Beach
Puppets Up! Festival (August 6/7)
Rideau Hall/Changing of the Guard
Parliament Hill
Pink Lake Hike/Carbide Willson Ruins
Laurier House
Byward Market shop tour
Company of Fools Shakespeare in the Park – my kids love this, mostly for the pre-show Lego recreation I give them so they will know what’s going on. It’s Pericles this year, a tragedy – wonder how that will play.
Mini Golf Gardens
Museum of Nature – ultimate dinosaurs, nature swap
Casino/Museum of History Fireworks show – August 6, 10, 13, 17, 20
Museum of History – CINE+ movie
Tuesdays – classic car night at Hazeldean Mall
The Capital Fair – Aug 19 to 28
Splash Pad Park
Upper Canada Village
Mont Cascades/Calypso
1000 Islands boat cruise (maybe, this one is a long shot considering I will have to actually organise something in advance)
Movies: Finding Dory, The BFG, The Legend of Tarzan, The Secret Life of Pets, Ghostbusters, Star Trek Beyond, Pete’s Dragon

No-Screen Activities

Bike Ride (to the corner store for a slushie or just around the neighbourhood)
Lego Build Challenge (where I give them an assignment and they must create it)
Board Game/Card Game
Make cookies – or just eat the dough
Sing It/Rock Band/Just Dance (doesn’t count as screen time as it’s a family activity)
Storytime with Picture Books
Hot Wheels challenge
BeyBlade Challenge
Read a book
Visit the Library
Go out for a treat
Swim at the pool
Croquet at the park
Splash Pad Park
Go fly a kite
Remote control car driving challenge
Target practice – with bow and arrow, nerf guns
Hide and Seek – with stuffies or action figures
Make ice cream or slushies
Set up the tent in the backyard
Make PlayDoh
Scavenger Hunt – inside or outside
Write a Letter
Dance Party
PJ Party
Lunch picnic
Science Experiments
Throw a disc around at the park
Trip to Sugar Mountain, a candy store
Trip to PlayValue, a Lego/Playmobil mecca

What are you doing this summer? Any suggestions for us?

11 thoughts on “Approaching the Summer of Awesome

  1. lvsconsulting

    KINGSTON!!! Camp out with us for an overnight! We have a lovely cool basement…. Futon, camping mattresses – hang out for a while!

  2. Do you have a room where you work? Or do you work in plain view like many people do? We don’t have an office, it’s in an open space, but if we did I would put up a sign I think (not that it would be respected all of the time, but perhaps some of the time):

    Mom’s office hours from 9-11, do not disturb

    Anyway, good luck and keep us posted. 🙂 Your list sounds awesome, I’m gonna make a similar one. For example, we live in Toronto but have never been to Kensington Market, and it’s been AGES since we visited the St. Lawrence Market, so that’s two day trips right there!

    Happy last day of school!

  3. Except for a few days in NYC for hubby & I to celebrate our 20th anniversary, we are planning a summer in Ottawa, which has NEVER happened before! we had 2 big winter trips this year, so we need to “be good”.

    On our list is a visit to the War Museum for the 1st time….. kids a good age for it now. Mooney’s Bay is always part of our summer, of course. Brunch at Chateau Montebello for a treat, as well as Lobster fest at the KEG. We also hope to go White Water Rafting one day & Lac Phillipe beach. We may also head to Tremblant for one night, just to get away for a bit! as for screen time, 3 hrs sounds reasonable to me. I won’t be giving my kids a limit, but if they are for days at a time, there will be caterwauling from me!

      1. we usually go in August…. but I think it starts in July. call your local Keg to find out 🙂 we love it! after I mentioned brunch at Montebello in your post, I went to the web site for details and maybe we will be crossing it off our list. $48 x 3 + $24 for the 12 yr old plus taxes/tip. gulp. pancakes at home anyone?

  4. I see holidays so differently now… as a freelancer, it usually means I’m working (employees are off, so more assignments) but Mark is around. Recipe for disaster. You know what I like now? Monday mornings, mercifully quiet as I hopefully cleared my desk over the WE and have yet to receive work!

  5. Shan

    For no screen activities my girls have colouring (adult colouring books are great for tweens/teens too!) and puzzles.

  6. mdavis94538

    So weird that you’re posting about school just ending – we were done on the 9th of June (but we also start earlier, so it probably ends up being about the same).

    We’ve had a standing policy of 2 hours/day screen time on weekends during the school year. It’s hard to police though; we expect the boys (8 and 10) to keep track of the time they spend, but they’re notoriously bad at it, and we’re thinking we need some explicit controls on the devices to make sure they stick with it.

    Anyway, 3 hours/day seems reasonable if their time is completely unstructured.

Comments are closed.