laid off and learning to love it… my journey from corporate sprinter to life marathoner

sahm: summer bucket trip to youngs dairy 06/06/2012

Filed under: Activities — ccatet @ 8:20 am

last week, we made the one hour trek on 70W to young’s dairy near yellow springs.

we all loved it, and here’s why:

farm animals, check.

sinks to wash hands after petting farm animals, check.

large tractors to climb on, check.

burlap bag slide where my kids could catch some air, check.

an enclosed play area with plenty of shade where the kids could play, run, get really dirty and worn out, check.

homemade ice cream, check.

happy kids and mama, check.

read my guest post at cbusmom.com for more information and some tips if you decide to make the trip! Fun times!


sahm: summer bucket of fun 2012

Filed under: Activities,Parenting — ccatet @ 6:46 am

it’s summertime, and i have a plan.

although i can’t believe it, this is my FOURTH year and my fourth summer home with the kids. i have learned much about myself – and them – in these years. during the summer, one of the things i have learned is that i need a loose framework through which to manage the long days, especially for the times when no formal activities are scheduled.

i can’t help it, i like a plan. you can go ahead and call it a schedule.

and yes, there is a summer daily checklist. it’s a sickness, i tell you.

the checklist essentially is the framework for our daily life during the summer. i won’t bore you with the other four things on our summer daily checklist, but i will tell you about the most exciting part of the checklist for the kids: the summer fun activity.

our full list of summer fun activities shall from this point forward be known as our summer bucket of fun.

thanks to pinterest, i took the bucket idea from here and browsed this list of 100 things to do with your kids this summer. i then asked the kids what they wanted to do this summer. i looked at our calendar with their camps and classes and decided to pare the list down to approximately 40 activities so we would essentially have something fun (and new) to do every weekday this summer – mostly for the days when there was not another activity formally scheduled.

don’t freak out. some of these activities are as simple as doing hopscotch in the driveway – and as big as going to kings island.

here is a picture of our bucket. 

and here are the 40+ items on those clips you see.

  1. tie dye t-shirts
  2. draw self portraits
  3. make oobleck (slime)
  4. have a lemonade stand – donate half money to food pantry
  5. have hopscotch fun
  6. do some sand play at a beach (alum creek, huntington, etc)
  7. go bowling
  8. make puppets
  9. camp out with tent in backyard
  10. make beaded necklaces
  11. donate time / volunteer
  12. make bird feeders
  13. go to a parade
  14. visit cosi – farm days
  15. visit cosi – big machines days
  16. visit youngs dairy
  17. pick strawberries
  18. pick peaches – utica
  19. visit ice cream factory – ye olde mill in utica
  20. pottery painting – clay cafe visit
  21. build boats from juice containers and find a place to test their floatability
  22. swim at friends’ outdoor pool
  23. visit jungle jacks
  24. visit anthony thomas for a factory tour
  25. bike ride to DQ
  26. go to a baseball game at huntington park
  27. go to movie at dollar theatre
  28. make chalk paint and paint up driveway
  29. collect crayon bits around house and melt into large crayons
  30. build an obstacle course
  31. go to kings island
  32. draw a play city on butcher paper, tape to floor – add directionals, cars, etc
  33. go to a fair – ross county, ohio state, etc
  34. visit inside trampoline place
  35. visit santa maria downtown pirate ship
  36. work on an art project with lids
  37. show a movie in the backyard projected onto house – invite friends to bring canned food for donation
  38. make homemade ice cream
  39. go to pb&j jazz
  40. visit olentangy caverns
  41. go to a columbus commons friday funday
  42. have a mini-olympics session

for the summer, in an attempt to fire up my writing again, i will share some of the things we get into. also, i will share what we choose to bag and why, mainly so you can get entertainment from my failures and hopefully avoid my mistakes. we also may add some new ideas in as we stumble on them… i am crazy like that.

in all honesty, i think my kids would read books and play legos every day this summer and not be bored for a minute. and for those days when they ask for this “schedule” and nothing else, i am happy to skip the bucket and let them run the show. but for those days when they are looking for adventure, i am glad i won’t have to think too hard to keep them engaged. the work around this bucket is done so i just can pull ideas whenever i need them.

i have to say, it’s good to be spontaneous – and i do it much better when i know about it ahead of time.