As I thought about what we wanted to do this summer, I decided it would be fun to have each of my kids get to plan one day. Having the “power” to plan out a day according to their wishes is so exciting for my kids. Plus, that’s one less summer day I needed to come up with a plan!
We started by putting each name on a paper and pulling them out one at a time to schedule which child would plan out each week. Then, at the beginning of the week, we would choose out a day that didn’t have anything else going on to make it that child’s special day. They would sit with me and detail out what they wanted for breakfast and what they would like to have for dinner. Then we would talk about activities for the day. Some needed some suggestions. But even with that, the fact that they could choose what activity sounded fun to them from the list was fun. I gave them a limit of about $30 since I wanted to reign in the planning from going to Disneyland!
The first week was my 5-year-old’s turn. He chose to go to a park we had never been to before. We played for a couple of hours exploring, climbing, playing some baseball. What more could a 5-year-old boy want? In the afternoon we went bowling. Our lanes have bowling during the day for just $1 a game and $1 shoe rental. We always have a great time bowling. The day was topped off with his favorite dinner: sweet and sour meatballs and rice. Such a fun day!
My 8-year-old has his turn the following week. He really wanted to go to the San Diego State Fair, but unfortunately plans for that didn’t work out. We went instead to a matinee showing of Brave. We don’t go to the movie theaters very often, so this was definitely a treat. The afternoon was spent playing games. And his favorite dinner? Sweet and sour meatballs and rice, of course!
When it was my 10-year-old’s chance, he asked if he could plan an all-day-movie day. We limit the amount of TV, computer time, video game that goes on in our home so, this was definitely a big request. But wasn’t the point to let them have the power to choose what they really want to do. What they dream about doing, but don’t get the chance to? I told him he could. The excitement was electric. He felt so cool. (And I made sure the whole week leading up to that day we went screen-less to prepare for it!) They loved it. One movie after another. They laughed. They lounged. They took a brain-break for lunch and snacks. We had hamburgers for dinner. (And Mom got a lot done that day with all of the kids occupied all day!)
The last day was my 4 1/2-year-old’s chance. He definitely knew what he wanted for dinner: breakfast! We had eggs, pancakes, hash browns, bacon and fruit for dinner. So yummy. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do that day, so I talked about some activities that I had put together to do sometime this summer, and he chose the ones he really wanted to do. We started out doing some geocaching. And along the way, we did a photo scavenger hunt. He chose to find a photo for each letter of the alphabet. We only found one of the four geocaches we hunted for, but we did find a photo for each letter of the alphabet! (We even found a sign that said “Xing” for crossing! Another activity we did was to unfreeze the Batman figures frozen in blocks of ice using water guns. This, of course, then turned into an all-out water fight. So much fun! We also did some spy training, which included a laser beam hallway (using crepe paper) they had to get through without letting the lasers touch them.
Found the Geocache!
Letting my kids each plan a day worked out really well. It was fun to see their choices, both for activities and for meals. You find out more about your kids and what they love. They have all already started talking about what they want to do the next time they get to plan a day. So give it a try. Let your kids plan a day. See how much fun you have!