AdriannaRyan_FABulous Summer_Large

Have a FABulous Summer

Author: Adrianna and Ryan Walden
Published Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Summer is an anticipated time of year. The kids are out of school, routines relax, and sunshine and lazy beach days are on the minds of many. For me, the thought of summer isn't as dreamy. Not only does the sun make me perspire, but so does the thought of keeping summer balanced for my daughter. With a household consisting of two working parents and a rising fifth grader, this task can seem daunting.

This year I decided to ditch the worry, and I plan to have a FABulous summer which includes only 3 ingredients: Fun, Academics, and Boredom. Yup, I said boredom!

Fun

Last year I took a week off from work at the beginning of summer. Sophia and I planned special activities for each day such as crafts, a trip to the zoo, lunch dates, and evening smores at the fire pit with daddy. She said that week was the best part of her summer, and she is eagerly anticipating this summer's week of fun with mommy. Creating fun with your kids doesn't have to be complicated, just meaningful. This year we're making unicorn terrariums, designing shirts and shoes with fabric markers, visiting a local animal rescue, and having a “stay in your PJs and watch movies” day.

We're also super lucky because Nana watches Sophia during the summer months. She keeps her busy with outings, movies, swimming, and a special Friday date with Papa. Let's face it, Nanas and Papas are always good for that extra scoop of ice cream before dinner. So, to ensure that ice cream doesn't give my daughter an academic brain freeze, it's my and Ryan's job to balance out all the fun with some brain stimulation.

Academics

How do I keep my daughter academically engaged? This year I've planned activities in all four core subjects on different days of the week, and we are reading a classic novel together. I call this Mommy Montessori, which makes my daughter giggle every time I say it. There are a lot of resources on the internet to include worksheets and lesson plans for every grade level. You can also purchase summer workbooks at your local bookstore that can make this easy. I don't go overboard on the work, but I give her just enough to keep her brain turned on.

Boredom

Although summer is a time for kids to have fun while staying academically sharp, kids need to be bored sometimes. When Sophia tells me she is bored my response is, "that's awesome!” When everything is at your fingertips, it can lead to a lack of creativity. Down time gives children a chance to imagine, create, think, and dream. This is crucial for helping foster the whole child. Unplug those tablets and let your child explore the world around them.

This year when we are asked, "How was our summer?" my reply will be, "It was FABulous!" How do you plan to have a FABulous summer with your kids?

About Adrianna and Ryan Walden

Ryan and Adrianna Walden have been married for 12 years. The two met when she was working for an arena football team in Norfolk where he was playing football. Ryan is a service coordinator with the Chesapeake Early Intervention Program and Adrianna is a Licensing Specialist for Children's Programs. Both have enjoyed teaching CHKD’s "Happiest Baby" class together for the past eight years. Together they have one daughter, who despite early health issues, is now a thriving and happy school-age child. The Walden's also lead a weekly community group through their church for married couples and their children.