All aboard! Summer is waltzing up the gangplank and I need to get prepared! Every summer vacation I feel like that pert little Julie McCoy, our favorite cruise ship director from 80’s television show the Love Boat, helping my resident guests get the most out of their vacation. All I need is the smart blazer and the no-fuss wash and go coif and I’m all set. Oooh, and a clipboard. I’ll add that to the shopping list.

I read quite a few articles on The Power of Moms website last night (an excellent resource, by the way, for all things mommy) that got me all pumped for school to get out. Summer is such a precious time with my children and I don’t want to find myself shopping for back-to-school supplies thinking about all the fun stuff we never got around to. I don’t want to over-schedule them either–then summer is NO fun. But I want to avoid the all too familiar refrain, “I’m so bored!” followed by a mind numbing Disney channel sitcom theme song. (Don’t get me started.)

So after a family pow-wow, here’s what we’ve pulled together so far to maximize our lazy days. Each day we are in town, we will complete the following five things before lunch:


1.) Swim Team

2.) Reading (30 min)

3.) Creative Writing or drawing for the younger kids (30 min)

4.) 2 Chores (selected from the chore jar)

5.) Skill Practice (30 min) eg., piano, typing, Spanish.

Then each weekday afternoon will have its own theme:

MONDAY- Laundry, library, park, (Explore all the different parks and ice cream parlors in our area), Ice Cream Day

TUESDAY- Field Trip Day (Leave in morning, places like the zoo are much easier if you get there the minute the park opens), chores in the afternoon

WEDNESDAY- Arts and Crafts/Science Experiment Day, pool in the evening

THURSDAY- Friend Day

FRIDAY- Sports Day/Hiking, pool in the evening, family movie

Then there’s our summer “bucket list” that we’ll check off little by little. This was very fun to write together:



Camp at our favorite National Park

Make rainbows at local mini-mart (half soft-serve, half slushy–a guilty pleasure)

Driveway drive-in movie with projector

Our own Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival

Big bubbles (check out this Bubble Party)

Tie dye

Teach my oldest how to use iMovie

Lemonade/Used book stand

Plant tomatoes

Make salsa

Make jam

Big slip-n-slide down a hill

Organize craft cupboard

Teach kids how to make their own lunch and clean it up

Frame pictures for walls

Finish triathlon

Older kids: Stand-up on surfboard

Ice skate


Zumba for kids class at the community center

Yoga for kids

Younger boys: Become good swimmers

Pedicure with my oldest daughter

See the new Pixar movie “Brave”

Go to a concert in the park

Make a real angel food cake (i.e., not from a box. Now that’s a science experiment!)

Make lemon curd (from all the leftover egg yolks from the cake)

Make play dough

Make street paint and redecorate the block

Masters of art (eg., paint lying under a table like Michelangelo, mimic Seurat by painting with Q-tips…)

Camp in the backyard

Night games with flashlights

Cousins Day

Make a bird feeder

Clean out bedrooms

Screen free from 9-5

Get my camera out once a week

Daily random act of kindness

Say “no” to the car wash and “yes” to my car washers

It’s a work in progress. We may still add more to the list. But I tell you what, it’s got us chomping at the bit for that final bell to ring! All aboard who’s coming aboard!

Its enough to make me want to invest in a shuffle board.