There is a lot of information out there about kindergarten readiness, or what to do the summer before kindergarten. But what about just enjoying the summer and making the most of the last few months together? The last few months of your babies being babies. (Well, let’s be honest they will be your babies forever). This summer is your last before kindergarten, but before you know it, it will be your last before college. Make it count.
1. Kindergarten Sleepover
Kids love finding new places and creating adventures. They also love making their own adventures. Rent connecting hotel rooms with your best mom-friends and their kiddos to make the night extra special. Explore your city, go to fun parks, walk around, go on a shopping spree, hit up a batting cage or sports museum… That night get dressed up and go to dinner. Or order in and have pillow fights in the hotel. Whatever your kindergartner wants, do that! Make it a special night all about your kindergartner. They’ll love hanging at the hotel pool, watching late night movies, and giggling with their friends.
Bonus: you can enjoy a glass of wine or two with your mom friends, while listening to the laughter of your kiddos. Hashtag best sleepover ever.
2. Summer Reading Programs
Reading with your child is a special bonding activity for just you and him/her to enjoy together. Most local libraries or your school have a summer reading incentive program. These programs offer things such as free food, gift cards, or small rewards for completing a certain amount of reading with your child. Reading opens up so many doors to the future, so grab a book and enjoy cuddling up with your kindergartner for their last summer.
In our technology rich world, it is so important to take the time to unplug and deactivate from our hectic lifestyle. What better way to do this, than to go on a camping excursion. If you aren’t quite up to full on camping, try going on a hike or a nature walk. One can deactivate from their hectic life and focus on just your child. Watch the stars, appreciate nature, and explore the unknown; time is fleeting. Connect with the world that is bigger than them, than you, than us all. Remind them of the beauty the world has to offer them. This is a big wide world, and it’s waiting for them.
Want the experience of a sleepover camp, but not ready to send your “baby” off alone? Try a family camp. They provide a great bonding atmosphere while exploring the great outdoors. Think of a camp activity and you can do it, archery, horseback riding, sailing, the possibilities are endless. Check out 30 of The Best Family Camps to find one near you. Bring the whole family for a special bonding activity.
Mom/Dad and Me Camps
Maybe you have other younger children and can’t get the whole family away, another option is Mom and Me Camps or Dad and Me Camps. These offer special one on one bonding time with just your pre-kindergarten. The YMCA has many of these camps to offer.
4. Explore the Arts
The more you open their mind up about the world, the more they can learn from it. Explore local museum, plays, and musicals. These can be anything from a local art gallery to a Broadway play. Expand your child’s mind and expose them to different cultures through the arts. Different exhibits, plays, and songs can help create thought provoking questions. You and your child can talk about the vastness of the world and all the differences that make it unique. You may learn a thing or two about each other that you never realized before.
5. All the Questions
We all know our little ones are full of endless questions; flip the cards and ask them all kinds of questions. Questions – What they want to do when they grow up? Why they are excited about kindergarten? What is their favorite thing to do with you? What is the thing they want to do most this summer? Have them draw a picture of themselves and write their name and age. Ask them anything, and write down their responses and keep track of what changes over the years.
6. Fun Shirts
We can all admit that one of the biggest decisions before kindergarten is what they are going to wear on their first day? Okay, okay, maybe it’s not the most pressing issue, but having a fun, memorable shirt can’t hurt, right? These lovely “Hello, Kindergarten I’m….” from The Blooming Boutique are absolutely perfect for the first day of school. A memorable keepsake and added bonus: no one will forget your child’s name!
Another perfect keepsake is a Grow with Me Graduation Shirt that are custom made with the child’s year in which they will graduate from high school. An added bonus is that each shirt comes with your child’s name on the sleeve. This shirt allows you to compare just how much your little one (will) grow over the next few years, allowing you to really reminisce about just how small they were.
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
7. Spend the Time
Most importantly: be together – talk, chat, love your child. They are about to take their first steps into the vastness of the world, their next steps into being independent big kids. Slowly but surely, they start needing you less and less, so make the most of this time together. Hold their tiny hands, embrace their hugs, shower them with love, let them know as they start their adventure you are there in the background still ready to kiss them when they fall, hug them when they have a bad dream, and read them their favorite story. Make the most of this summer, because time is the one thing we will never have enough of.