Now that summer is officially here, I find the days and weeks without anything planned a bit daunting. I see why parents are so happy to send kids back to school in the fall, and it’s not about being a bad parent–there’s just something so safe and easy about the routine of busy days. With the baby at a strange age of being more self-sufficient but still incredibly needy, and the kids growing tired of being around each other and me, sometimes I feel like I am way more of a referee than the fun-loving, fabulous mom I want to be. Definitely not being completely “present” with them, but at least I am aware of it and trying to do better. Even if it is only in twenty minute intervals.
So I have a bunch of simple ideas horded on Pinterest of things to keep it light and a bit more fun than I can come up with on my own, and this is another great example. It was in that lull between quiet and TV time and dinner when the baby needed to nap but hadn’t and I needed something to fill the gap. So I told Jax and Em to go hunt for some special stones and pebbles while I got the baby settled, and when they came back they had a wagon full of their favorites. I should have been more specific about how they needed to be flat and small, but even the biggest ones found a job.
We pulled them out and on a piece of paper I took them one by one and changed them into animals or people, kind of like how you create pictures out of clouds. They had a good time trying to guess what I was drawing as I went along. Then I created a scene of my own: a garden with a butterfly and a sun.
Em started drawing ON the rocks themselves and then starting drawing on herself, so I will chalk this up to a little beyond her creativity at this moment. Jax was definitely into it and wanted to make an ant and its ant home.
Actually, maybe it was an ant trap. Either way, he had a whole scenario created from a pile of rocks. We had fun from simple, every day things that helped Jax see the world in a different way. If I can come up with more activities like this, maybe the summer won’t seem so daunting after all!