I Know What I'll Do This Summer

There are just 16 days left until summer vacation, and I have a confession to make: The last day of school is usually my least favorite day of the year.

Sounds harsh, but it’s not an indictment of my kids; I love having more time to hang with my sons. What I dread is the sheer number of empty, unscheduled hours to fill. All our school, music and sports commitments disappear over the summer. That leaves way too much time between camp dismissal and light’s out to spend staring at a screen.

This year, with MetroKids resources at my fingertips, summer planning is already a whole lot easier. Here are just a few ways I’m getting ready to meet the summer.

1. Stock up on books. The Horn Book compiles the most comprehensive summer reading list I’ve ever seen, packed with the type of engrossing titles that’ll appeal to my voracious reader and my why-aren’t-there-illustrations kid alike.

2. Seed the scene. I admit that there’s not an ounce of green in my thumb. But our container-gardening how-to has inspired me to enlist the kids’ help in transforming discarded stuff in our shed — an old cooler? a lopsided wheelbarrow? — into individual veggie and flower planters.

3. Enjoy the dog days, literally. We recently got a four-month-old Westie and have started a training class that will last well into the summer. We adore our pup Daisy (pictured above) and look forward to enjoying life with her for many years. Her presence made editing our story about how to help children cope with the loss of a beloved pet more emotional than I could have imagined.

4. Check in on 72 days of Summer Fun. Every day from June 21 through August 31, there’ll be a surprise waiting for you on our website. Some days, it’ll be a cool tip on somewhere great to go; other days, it’ll be a giveaway for something your kids are going to want — think tickets to the Steel Pier amusement park and products like rainy-day DVDs. We’ll hint at what each of our summer’s 72 days will bring on our Facebook page, but to fully get in on the action you’ll need to log on to MetroKids.com/summerfun.

This gives me a good jump on my quest to defeat the lure of the Xbox and wrest the earbuds out of my sons’ heads (see why that’s so important here). How are you planning to beat the summer blahs? Leave a comment below or let me know at editor@metrokids.com.

Categories: FYI