So, my friend Mary and I were talking earlier this month about “how we were going to survive the summer..,” I know a few of you moms (and dads) out there were and are feeling the same way. It’s not that we don’t love our children – it’s that we want to just make it through the next 100 days! If you know what this intersection is like you would agree! Here is the problem:

  • The kids have reached the point that aren’t old enough to get a summer job, and camps only go so far. 
  • All they want to do is plug into a screen (which we know is just no good).
  • Every idea that once worked before is now lame…

So what do you do? Well, we thought it would be fun to get some of our fellow moms together (for a happy hour of course) and create a strategic plan of how to survive the summer. At this wonderful late afternoon event, we identified some key points:

1. You can’t have too rigid of a schedule (teens just don’t like that).
2. You have to give them options (teens need that).
3. You have to have SOMETHING FOR THEM TO DO OR THEY WILL DRIVE YOU CRAZY (moms need that).

So here you go ladies (and gents)… our master list of how to survive the summer. Pick and choose what works for your family. ThanksMary for being my partner in crime… Please share with your friends. Feel free to stop by Mary’s other fun Parenting site.. CAMP WHOOP A.S.S. Enjoy!

Incentive Adventures: create an incentive and give them a reward, it can be whatever you want but these were a few of Mary’s favorites:

  • Peak to Peak – do a hike get a burgers @ Twin Peaks in Hood River
  • ICEcycle – go on a bike ride and get ice cream at Mike’s in Hood River
  • Swim & Smores – go swimming and get smores after
  • Letters for Letters  – write a letter to grandma (or grandpa) and earn a new book
  • Apples & Essays – Write an essay and go to Apple Valley (Hood River) and get a milkshakes
  • Kill and be Killed – Kill weeds in the yard and get a trip to KillerBurger (White Salmon)
  • Photography Challenge – take YouTube photography class take pictures and, enter them into the county fair
  • Teens & TJ’s – clean out your closet and take a trip at the end of summer to shop at TJ Maxx with your teen

Get a Job! offer up the options for your teen or pre-teen, give them the option of making money!

  • Babysitter (cool school)
  • Mother’s Helper
  • Sport Tutor
  • Cashier
  • Yard Worker
  • Waitstaff
  • Dog Walker/Sitter
  • Smart Phone/Tablet Tutor
  • All in One TV Remote Programmer
  • Golf Swing Videographer
  • Volunteer

Portland Day Trip or Trip in Town: Fill an entire day with fun activities in PDX! Enjoy the sites, and some of these can be at a low expense or even free!

Scheduling + Routine: Sometimes (especially with the littles), you need a structured day – – try one of these fun daily tasks

  • Make-it Monday: art, craft, fort or food
  • Trip Tuesday: library, park, museum, bike ride, factory tour
  • Wet Wednesday: swim, play in the sprinkler, squirt gun, wash car
  • Thinking Thursday: research, read and give report at dinner time
  • Friend Friday: have a friend over!

Fun Outings: Enjoy a few of these Gorge inspired activities for kids or as a whole family!

Camps: Maybe you need a break! Do you need some long-term help? Consider a longer camp just days or sleepaway!

Activities: Sometimes you just need to get them outside, burn off some energy and enjoy a new activity – – indoors or outdoors.

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