Well, school is over and after having WAY too much time with our kids through the pandemic so far, summer is here. And, it seems we have even MORE time with them. Yay, us! How are you planning to survive? I’ve got a few ideas – hopefully they are a wee bit helpful for you as well, in these dire times.

Create a Summer Bucket List

Sit the kiddos down and see if you can all agree on a few activities that everyone is invested in. Here are a few categories that we are considering in my home.

  • Adventure: this does not have to be expensive or hard. Find a new park in your city, do a road trip, go strawberry picking, or check out a local Farmer’s Market.
  • Do GOOD: have the kids set up a lemonade stand for a local charity, collect canned goods for the local food bank, write letters to elderly relatives, or pick up litter in a local park.
  • Get Creative: encourage the kids to create a play, plant a garden, paint some rocks, make friendship bracelets.

Tweens and Young Teens are Tricky

This age is a struggle. I’ve got a few who are this age, and they are a little too old for traditional day camps, but too young for proper jobs. So, what can they do?

  • CIT: yes, the summer camp Counsellor in Training job is a winner. If you check with your local Camp Association, you will see jobs posted. CIT jobs provide great leadership opportunities, while getting your kiddos in nature and giving them the social interaction they are craving right now.
  • Flex their entrepreneurship! My teens/tweens have run “summer camps” out of our home with much success. The boys next door set up a car detailing service, loading up their wagon with cleaning supplies, then servicing minivans throughout the neighbourhood! The moms have never been so happy!

Let them get BORED!

Is boredom really that bad?  Parents, we are not the entertainment systems of our children. Let the kids sit in their boredom and remind yourself it is an opportunity for them to get super creative. Boredom is a great motivator. Oh, and don’t be afraid to pull out the old “chore jar” whenever you hear that whiney phrase, “I’m BORED.” It will shut that down pretty quickly!

In the blink of an eye, the kids will all be back to school (please, please, please) so just try to make the most of the summer months – your kids are more awesome than you think.


Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless awards. Julie is no stranger to the media, having appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, HLN’s Raising America, Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Denis Show, CP24, among many others. As a blogger and writer, her articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, The Globe and Mail, Profit Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Chicken Soup For the Soul - Power Moms and numerous websites. When she’s not juggling her busy family and professional life, Julie is an active volunteer and engaged community leader, who is passionate about women’s issues, mentoring young entrepreneurs, poverty alleviation and social justice.

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