With summertime finally upon us, my son actually cheered about not needing to go to school anymore. I can’t say that he’s ever, in my memory, showed any desire to take a long break from school. I think this year really challenged him in multiple ways, not the least of which included an insistence that he not skip in the hallways on the way to class. He’s an 8-year-old with autism that just learned how to skip this year…and that rule seemed absurd to me as long as he stayed with his teacher, but I tried to respect their rules. Anyway, we’re both glad about summer vacation, but now we need to know what to do with it, right? After allowing him a break from academics (which he sorely needs), I have many things planned to keep him from losing information over the summer while simultaneously preventing boredom (for both him and his brother). We’ve got plenty of fun things to do this summer!
10 Fantastically Fun Things to do This Summer
- Playing in the sprinkler will likely become something we do quite frequently. We just got a good one this year specifically for that purpose. They love the sprinkler. What kid doesn’t? It’ll work for a cheap thrill with a good garden hose!
- Chalk drawings in the driveway will help him keep up with his fine motor skills while entertaining them both. I will probably also incorporate Squeaker writing a sentence in chalk a day at some point (and his brother writing his letters). He can then draw a picture to go with it. His brother does some really great chalk drawings because he’s blessed with excellent fine motor skills. We can probably work on getting Squeaker to draw at least some basic shapes. Chalk becomes the great equalizer, honestly, because the kids love using it and it’s fairly easy to manipulate.
- Library time will absolutely work for us, as both the kids love books. I think I owe money there from last year for turning in books late, but they didn’t allow for online payment, so I kind of put that off. I will finally pay them off this summer! Oh yeah, and the kids can go to storytime at various libraries around the area. Most public libraries host summer programs and they list them on their websites.
- The North Carolina Aquarium provides some really great education for the kids and is a cool place (literally) to walk around during the summer. I would like to get them to tell me at least one thing they learned at the library when we get back home, and then I could get Squeaker to type out a sentence or two. Big Guy really loves the shark exhibit! Finding local aquariums and zoos enriches the summer like nothing else.
- Keep a Summer Journal of the things we do every day. Squeaker can write 1-2 sentences about his favorite part of the day, then we can work together on drawing a picture of our day. You can buy Composition Notebooks from the store pretty cheap and have kids create their own summer journals, too!
- Watch the Life Cycle of an Insect or Animal – Currently, we’re watching tadpoles grow up, and it’s kind of awesome. I’d also like to investigate which flowers will attract butterflies and grow them with the kids.
- Visit the Beaufort Maritime Museum and talk like pirates while we’re there viewing the Blackbeard Exhibit. Look for museums in your area that you’ve never visited before and go see them. See if you can get online with them first and check out a map of the facility so that you can plan ahead and get the kids excited about it.
- Go to the Beach during the week, when the tourists aren’t in town. One of my former coworkers lives off of the beach and has a pool and has invited us over, so we might get the best of both worlds there, and I’d get to visit a good friend. Most kids love swimming, so going to the beach or a local pool provides a good source of cheap entertainment.
- Play Soccer in the yard. Big Guy has been taking soccer at daycare and it would be good for him to practice his skills over the summer too. Plus, now that he’s taking soccer, Squeaker has shown interest in playing like never before. Maybe I can practice my dribbling! Really, playing any sport in the yard can keep you busy while helping everyone stay in shape.
- Read, read, read! Read all the books we can. I’ll have Squeaker read to Big Guy. I’ll read to both of them. Help them discover great new books. Check out a list of good children’s books, like these Caldecott Winners, to get some ideas.
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Summer doesn’t need to stay boring when you can find so many great things to do. Find fun things to do this summer around you!
What do you plan to do this summer?