Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bring on Summer 2011

Jemma's been done with school for what seems like weeks now, tagging along with me everywhere that I go.  And Annie's last half-day of first grade is tomorrow.  So today felt like the last, best chance I had to get things DONE around here.  I may have tried to do too much (run, Target, library, groceries, set up interviews, phone call for new writing project, teacher thank-you notes, creation of summer boredom-buster activities (see below), cooking dinner, filling out paperwork for Girl Scouts and allergy testing, and topping it all off with a family trip to Jersey Junction), but I think we're really ready.

Annie has cheerfully and not-so-cheerfully done chores and saved her money these last six weeks or so, and Jason and I decided to go ahead and order her rollerblades as a surprise gift for her spectacular school year.  We gave them to her tonight right after dinner, then headed straight outside to strap them on and skate twice around the block, up and down the driveway practicing turns, and then all the way to the ice cream shop and back.  One fall.  Three tears.  Huge, proud smile and grateful little girl getting her "spend" money out of its envelope to pay us her portion tonight.

Not wanting Jemma to be left out of the action, we got her something fun for summer that we knew she'd love, too.  She whacks that ball at least half the time we pitch it at her, sometimes knocking it straight into us, always laughing and talking the entire time.

 After a week or two of brainstorming ideas, I finally put this together today, just in the nick of time.  It's Annie's "I'M BORED" Board - get it? - and it's full of fun and educational activities to stave off the summer whining and backsliding.  The whole thing went together in less than an hour, made up of one extra-sturdy (puffy?) poster board, four lengths of ribbon attached to the board with four brads, and about 25 activities divided between four columns:  Write, Do, Learn, and Create.

The I'm Bored Board could have as many or as few categories as you wanted, and you can simply write the task on an index card, label the other side of the index card with the category, and attach it to the ribbon with tape.  Here are a few of our board's activities:

Write:  a comic strip; a story about our family; all the Spanish words you know; a letter to your teacher; a poem; a postcard.

Do:  go for a run; make cookies; weed and water the garden; make up a dance routine; yoga; play catch; jump rope; make an obstacle course.

Create:  paint rocks; draw a self-portrait; make a birthday card; paint using pointilism; paint outside with the art easel.

Learn:  play math games on the computer; research a bug; read a book outside; do math flashcards; pick a country from the globe and learn about it; practice piano.

That should totally take care of summer boredom, right?


I'm predictably wistful about sending our big girl off to her very last day of what's been such a wonderful school year, and predictably amazed at how quickly it has gone.  Heading home from ice cream tonight, I think it was the first time our family has journeyed there and back without anybody in a stroller.  I remember making the trip the summer that Jemma was an infant and Annie was two; both girls rode in the Chariot together, Jemma still on the little papoose board.  The next summer, when the girls were one and three, we'd often take separate strollers (The Fighting) or maybe have Jemma in a stroller while Annie rode her tricycle, one of us pushing her along with our foot.  The last two summers, Annie has been able to ride her bike or scooter or just walk, but Jemma has always been in a stroller for the trip.

Tonight, though:  Annie flailed gracelessly along the sidewalk, refusing to hold anyone's hand while she paid careful attention to the cracks in the concrete; Jemma pedaled her blue-mouthed self right behind her sister, flying down the hills and then churning her legs stubbornly on the way up; Jason and I walked behind, watching, holding hands, feeling lucky to have another long summer stretching wholly before us.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the I'm Bored Board! Awesome! I just may have to steal it!