Remember those halcyon days where the approach of summer meant the promise of sweet, sweet freedom?
Well, if you’re an adult in the workforce, those days are over.
Doubly so if you’re a parent in the workforce – though those days for your kids are in full swing.
So what’s the solution when half the household’s schedule shifts from filled, scheduled days to boundless freedom?
Here’s how the parents at Blue Summit Supplies are handling summer break this year – with a few free downloadables for you to use, too!
How We Manage
At Blue Summit Supplies, most of us are parents – even Owen, whose only child is Larry, our beloved Chief Happiness Officer.
But unlike Owen, the rest of us can’t bring our babies into the office every weekday. Instead, we’ve had to come up with some more creative solutions.
Megan, our Director of Financial Operations, has two young teenagers out of school for the summer. She doesn’t need to worry about childcare, but she doesneed to worry about boredom. How does she combat this?
“Camps and school. My youngest goes to camps to stay busy, and my oldest is taking some extra classes at school. I give them both workbook pages to make sure they stay sharp.” And when they say they’re bored? “I tell them I have some cleaning they can do.”
Shannon, our Director of Marketing, says her elementary-aged kids are splitting their time between grandparents, camps, and coming to work with her and her husband.
“My son’s in a robotics camp and my daughter’s doing a golf camp and an art camp. Thankfully the art camp is right next door to the office.”
Shannon, a craft guru who authored papercraft book Paperplay, solves her kids’ ‘boredom’ conundrum with fun artsy projects like paper crafts and coloring pages. … And pranks.
“What if I take all this confetti my son made,” she tells me, scooping blue squares of handmade confetti into an empty Cheez-It bag, “tape it shut in the bag, and then hand it to him like a snack?”
Who says parenting can’t be fun?
Grace, our Content Manager, has a toddler and a five-year-old. She’s shuffling her eldest between various family members across the tri-state area while her youngest stays in daycare.
And when hers get bored?
“Vodka. For me, not them – I’m not a monster. Or we pull out the sprinkler, or I let their live-in nanny Daniel Tiger take them on a fun journey. Summers have a lot in common with the wild west in my house: lawless, with the occasional tumbleweed-sized dust ball rolling by.”
Katie, our Product Manager, has two teenage girls and understands the importance of entrepreneurship.
“My oldest went to four weeks of ballet intensive and will be coming back to babysit Shannon’s littles, while my youngest is babysitting family and practicing tennis!”
As a bonus, Laurel, our Accounting Manager, has two four-legged babies who have summer plans. Finn and Jolly Roger, her rescue dog and foster dog, have busy days planned: “They go spend the day with their grandparents (my parents) a few days a week, and then they spend a lot of time walking, hiking, and… sleeping on the couch.”
The ideal summer.
Keeping Your Kids Occupied
So how can you keep your mini-me’s occupied? Here are some suggestions from the seasoned veterans, including some freebies.
- Water play. If you have a yard and a cooperatively hot climate, break out the sprinklers or kiddie pool! These will keep your kids occupied for hours. Even better if your yard is fenced in – you have the added benefit of being able to leave them outside to shriek and splash while you take shelter in the cool solitude of your kitchen. Maybe even have a snack without having to hide in a dark pantry to eat it.
- Day camps. Depending on where you live and your child’s age, you should be able to find some day camps in your area. All sorts of businesses offer day camps, from painting studios to golf courses to local gyms and more. Find one that fits your child’s interests – and, more importantly, your budget.
- Reading! Barnes & Noble was among the first book retailers to offer a summer program that rewards kids for reading. If your child reads any eight books during the summer and records them in their summer reading journal, he or she is awarded a FREE reading adventure book!
- We were so inspired by B&N’s push to increase literacy among kids that we also wanted to offer the same to our Blue Summit Supplies kids. Download our free reading list sheet below (that doubles as a coloring sheet!) and have your child fill out the books he or she reads during the summer.
- Arts & crafts! Don’t be overwhelmed if you’re not artsy – we can’t all be the Iron Craft America 2018 winner – but we can set our kids up with some crayons and coloring pages. Break out the pipe cleaners if you’re feeling fancy, but if you’re pressed for time and need a moment of peace, try our create-your-own-coloring-book. It features Larry, so you know it’s quality.
For more informative articles about office supplies, subscribe to our email newsletter!
Never fear, you won't begin receiving daily sales emails that belong in a spam folder. Instead, we promise a fun weekly roundup of our latest blog posts and great finds from across the web. And if you lose interest, it's always easy to unsubscribe with a single click.