Summer Planning...Had Me a Blast!

Julie Pippert
February 24, 2011

Google calendar summer planning

Hi, it's me, that mom, the one who sent you and the rest of the parents from class an invitation to a summer planning Google calendar.

I know what you're thinking of me: I'm some uber-organized Wonder Woman mom who always has the perfectly structured summer. HA! Polar opposite, my friend. I am in fact a semi-slacker mom who has found an ingenious way to share the summer burden. This started back when my kids were toddlers. We were new in town and the other mothers already had their game plan down pat. They'd toss off special free days at the museum, ticket discounts at fun places, crafts classes at local stores, and on and on.

How in the world do they know all of this, much less remember it, off the top of their heads?

So one day I enticed them to my house with promises of childsafe play space and mommy snacks, and I made them tell me all the stuff they could think of and I jotted it down on a printed out calendar. Then I made copies. Now I'm more sophisticated and I plan in the cloud.

This is really useful since the kids are now older and this means camps and summer events require registration before April 1 (or YOU LOSE! NO SPACE LEFT FOR YOU SLACKER MOM!) and many events feel as though they involve something like 50 miles round trip and 4 hours of schlepping in the swagger wagon per day.

My current Google calendar is getting additions from other parents, and it's prompting us to do some co-planning for my favorite adult activity these days: carpooling. It also means less research and development on my end, plus less "I wanna be with my BFF!!!" wailing from the kids.

All jokes aside, the cool thing about sharing summer planning with other parents is that, whatever tool you use, it can take it from being a burden to a blast, and include some really wonderful times that you and your kids look forward to, such as: 

  • Seeing friends' activities can take both you and your kids reach way out of your usual comfort zone, and it sets a neat tone of kids sharing their likes with one another--with respect and even admiration. Some friends of ours invited us to a Kuk Sool Won demonstration and now my kids are way interested in a summer martial arts camp that we had never heard of one week ago.
  • I also enjoy the chance to keep up with "pass in the hall" parents that I like but might not otherwise see during the summer. After summer camps, we often add a little on to the evening with a pizza dinner out (somebody always knows about two-fer deals or has a coupon) and grown-up social time while kids have their good time right next to us.
  • Some days I bring home extra kids, which is good for everyone, especially the mom or dad who gets a little time to work finished or run errands, and then they return the favor for me another day.
  • Learning about special discounts, deals, happenings and activities in your area that mean adding some special in, possibly unexpectedly, for your family.
  • Done with friends you know well, you can even let folks know when you might be traveling so you have extra eyes helping to keep your house safe.
  • Plan playdates on drizzly days or silly pajama days where you invite over a couple of friends and just play it very low key all day.

It's such a nice way to keep connected with local friends from school or the neighborhood over the summer, find some good times, and most importantly, some support and help of one another during what can be a really challenging season for busy families.

Make sure to check out Savvy Source in your area for any good ideas, too. 

From the Parents

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