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Problems, Plans, and Opinion Polls

May 1999 Question

April Question
Quiz: 8 weeks of summer school holidays: Are you...?
Results: 18 respondents, 67% said "Looking forward to them", 33% said "Dreading them"


  1. Do you plan out your summer or go with the flow?
  2. What plans have you made to save yourself from hearing "I'm bored" too often?
  3. What activities do you do that are free or nearly free?
Think ahead a little bit to summer, ah, warm sun, blue skies and eight weeks of school holidays! It means different things to different people, it seems to pass over my husband much like any other time of year but I love it. My mother would say it's because I'm a Leo but I think it's because I'm a SAHM. I can't wait to spend more time with my son, he goes to a great school but sometimes I feel robbed of time with him when he's there, his teacher gets his best waking hours, I wonder if she knows how much I (and other Mom's who think like me) envy her?

The summer holidays can cost us parents a whole packet of money though right? Summer doesn't come cheap these days, but some of the things I do with my 9 year old are free or nearly free, and as I look forward to the summer holidays with my son I am ever on the lookout for new ideas, so I thought this would be a great time to share them.

We belong to the nature society at the zoo, which is free, we go on many outings, nature related hikes and even a sleepover at the zoo, all free. The library has activities for different ages, work shops, plays and story writing, free. Church often has an extra activity here and there during the summer for the children and a picnic with games etc. free. If you are in a university town, phone to find out if they have any free things planned open to the public. Also they may have ongoing thing's like an open lab, small exotic animals on view, a museum, all free. You just have to know that they are there. I talk to friends about what they are doing during the summer holidays and I keep my eye on the paper for stuff going on around town, all free.

Next weekend my son and I are going to make a bird bath out of cement, we'll first make a mould in his sand box to the size we can manage, then line the bottom and sides with ready mix cement and push pieces of broken pottery and glass into it, then we'll spend the whole summer watching who comes to visit it for a drink. Any left over mix will be made into stepping stones and we'll find a place for them somewhere in the garden, all for about $5. If you do this with your kids, remember to put the date on it somewhere, you'll thank me in 20 years time!

1. Other than the few weeks for our family camping vacation, day camp and swimming lessons, we don't plan our summer too firmly. The first few days after school are our "let's sleep in and do absolutely nothing" days. Then we make a list of all the things we (mom, 9 yr old daughter, 7 yr old son, 4 yr old daughter and dad when he's not at work) would like to do. We use that list and try to make a rough schedule of when we will do things.These activities range from going on a picnic with a group of friends to crafts. I try to limit the activities that will cost money.

2. I haven't got any plans to avoid hearing "I'm bored" because the phrase is inevitable. But there are spur of the moment activites such as visiting the library, biking or inviting a friend over that can be done on the spur of the moment.

3. We do a park patrol every year. We just pack a lunch, hop in the car, and drive to various city/school playgrounds. If we like one we stay for awhile, if we don't like it we move on. We also do a lot of free activities at the library. They publish their activities in their monthly program and always provide hours of interesting things for all ages. In the past I have had a mid-summer party and let the kids invite over a few of their classmates that they may not have seen much of since school ended. Julie, Saskatchewan, Canada