We’ve officially hit the point in the summer when my kids descend into endless bickering and I’m missing school like my skinny jeans. We’ve also hit the point when the heat keeps them inside most of the day, so burning off energy through play isn’t happening. It’s definitely time to break out the big guns.
Last year, during the Worst Summer Ever, my husband was gone for nearly a month. Keeping the Heathens entertained during all the calamity was a challenge, so I came up with “Holidays in Summer.” Basically, on each weekend, we would have a mini-holiday celebration (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas). The idea was to give the kids something to look forward to and help plan. These celebrations included a special meal, a craft or activity, and holiday-appropriate movies. These scaled-down events ended up being a blast and the highlight of our summer. I also loved them because it gave me a chance to have small holiday experiences that did not involve the stress of hosting large gatherings. We have continued the tradition this year, and here’s how it’s going:
For the Halloween weekend, we made a pumpkin-shaped cake and got a bunch of snacks. For our craft, we made masks out of paper plates, paint, glitter, and popsicle sticks. Then, we watched scary movies and played with the glow necklaces I picked up for a buck. My husband was skeptical at first (especially when I broke out the glitter) but later admitted it was really fun.
For the Thanksgiving weekend, we made lovely Pilgrim hats (Ha-Ha!), and I cooked an extremely scaled-down version of the meal. We watched Charlie Brown and generally acted like sloths. The key to this one was to get the kids to help with the food, and we even used all of the Thanksgiving placemats and paraphernalia I have squirreled away.
We had to postpone the Christmas weekend due to a death in the family, but the plan is to decorate cookies, feast on appetizer-type stuff, have a small gift exchange (we drew names), and watch all our favorite movies.
So, if you feel like you may be one-less kid lest school start soon, try having a mini-Holiday. From the planning and shopping to the execution, they have something to focus on, even if it is brief and fleeting. If all else fails, put those boogers to work and sweat the whining right out of them.