Summer Adventures

It’s summer and school break is in full swing. Now it’s time to learn in all the other ways.

As much as the formal classroom has its place, I’m choosing to embrace all the wonderful ways to keep growing and learning in the summer! What do you do with your school age kids during these long summer days?

Also, beyond the educational benefit, my goal is always to tire them out without completely exhausting myself! A difficult tension to nail sometimes.

Here’s a few of our summer adventures so far!

We started our summer with the 5.5 year old and 2.5 year old in swim lessons. There were tears. There was stress about being on time. There was much shivering by the wet boys. There was much sweating by the parents on the un-shaded pool deck at midday in the blistering heat. But it was well worth it! Eddie began swimming without help immediately after!

The effort of getting 3 kids in the car with swim gear, across the city to the community college pool, unloaded, dressed in said swim gear, sunscreen-ed, and lugged across campus from the parking lot to the pool deck, then after class dried, changed, and loaded back in the car toward home, and finally all said swim gear hung to dry…it makes me tired again just thinking about it! But the benefits (and tired-out kiddos) were worth it!

The next week we left for vacation in the Midwest.

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After a too-short red eye and very little sleep, catching up was a bit of a trick, but we soon made our way to the shore of Lake Michigan for family vacation.


Baby Ollie was unlucky enough to begin teething in earnest right as vacation began, so little sleep was the name of the game from day one. Fortunately, even mouth pain couldn’t dim his gummy grins, and he quickly picked up the art of the beach nap!

The few days at the beach house were full and lovely; it’s such a gift to be part of a family who loves to be together. From there, we headed back to one set of grandparents’ house for the 4th of July which included a very hot/humid hometown parade and fireworks display that night. The boys loved the fireworks and all I can say is, it’s about time! Then we were off to the next set of grandparents. See? Now, would you put this vacation in the category of relaxing? Yeah…not really. A few other adventures from our days with extended family in Illinois:


A LEGO display at a local museum: The Art of the Brick,



a ride in a combine harvesting summer wheat,

and so much more! We packed our days and ended our trip in need of a vacation from our vacation, if you know what I mean.

But back at home, despite the annoyance and inconvenience of a lost suitcase, we were all happy to be home! And our days stretch before us, ready to be filled with more summer adventures!


Playing at our local Children’s Museum’s water feature,



exploring the botanical gardens,


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a trip to the LEGO store to check out the epic new space sets!



the summer reading program at the library,


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stomp rockets courtesy of the library since the program is space themed!

If you’re still scrolling through our epic summer snapshots, let me finally get around to the actual message of this post. It’s not to wow you with a full summer schedule of fun and educational outings. THESE SNAPSHOTS ARE NOTHING BUT HIGHLIGHTS. In between these few moments is glorious margin. Extra time. That’s what childhood summer is all about. Yes, more time to make memories like the ones showcased above, but even more important are the memories made in the in between times. All the extra time for kids to play, and rest, and learn by being with themselves. So take all these adventures with a grain of salt. The greatest summer adventure is boredom.

More on that later…now back to your glorious summer adventures!

One thought on “Summer Adventures

  1. Janine

    I concur that margin is the greatest gift of summer—I’ve been thankful to watch the granddaughters a little more and observe my own growing children as they are navigating young adulthood!


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