As we begin to dream about warmer weather and budding flowers, the rest of the town is already hounding us for summertime plans! We have gotten flyers for camp, swim, dance, karate, and school that “space is limited – so reserve your child’s spot in our summer program today!” Uhm, what!? It’s still jackets and hats weather, how are we suppose to start planning for shorts and tee-shirts already? Especially Nina, who’s head is spinning trying to book summer plans when she barely has next week planned out! On the other hand, Sheena is already done and registered the boys for their summer plans.
We have been trying to figure out what to do with our kids this summer. Sheena has already registered her boys for their summer plans, Nina is still trying to decide which way she wants to go, so she has been weighing a bunch of options for the girls. Dipti will have an infant in tow, so she as of now she has his Summer planned out, but things can change depending on the baby.
Sheena, in the past would keep the boys in their Montessori schools for the summer program there, so an extension of the school year. However, as they got older, they grew out of that program. She started asking her friends with older kids what they do, and discovered that the NJ townships have awesome summer camps for the kids. Her neighboring town has different programs like Bricks for Kids, Mad Science, Engineering and Robotics as well as art, music, theater and sports. They are small camp classes scattered with different morning sessions and afternoon session. This works well for the boys right now as it also accommodates their energy for their regular activities that also continue through he summer, so she has been sticking with this for the past two years.
Dipti’s plans for Diav are pretty set in stone as they’ve had to solidify plans before baby’s arrival. She wants to make sure things remain as consistent for Diav as possible as having his baby brother around will be a huge adjustment in and of itself. Diav is staying at his daycare for their summer program, which has loads of fun for the kids as well as some academics (the kind for 2 year olds!). They also have outside entertainment come in once a week for the kids during the Summer, so wherever Dipti would have taken him like music class or gym play spaces – they’re coming to the school! She also knows that Diav won’t be able to stay home full time as even weekends get boring for him at home all day. She also wants to be able to give the baby some one on one time so with Diav at summer camp it’ll be the perfect time for them two to interact. Of course there’s always the added risk of baby getting sick from Diav bringing home daycare germs but they’ve decided to play this part by ear and hope that the Summer months won’t be too hard on the kiddies!
Nina has been trying to figure out what to do with the three girls this Summer. The older two obviously have more going on and the baby will be about 14 months when the summer hits. So she is weighing her options to see what is the best choice for the three, the least commuting for her, the most sanity for their home, and the least chaos in terms of scheduling. In the past, the older two just did their daycare summer camp program. Easy peasy, it was as if the “school year” schedule was just continuing as is. Then last year, she did a proper summer camp, and she wasn’t thrilled. The girls seemed exhausted being out in the sun from 9am to 2pm Monday – Friday. Not to mention, they were literally eating ice cream and drinking juice all day long (not Nina’s MO). So this year she is in a bind as to what to do.
Below are some of the options Nina is considering:
This option would be great for her because all three girls could be in the same place at the same time. This means one drop off, one pick up. BAM all done! They have splash days versus pool in the sun, all day every day. And a couple of times a week, they go one field trips to do bowling, swimming, a movie, etc. Downside would be that all the kids will pretty much be younger than her eldest and so she may get a little bored – and likely that the two older ones will be put into the same class, which is also something Nina is trying to avoid. Also, there is pretty minimal academics in the summer at day care as it is focused mainly on fun.
This is the first time she has seen this program, but it is local to her so she is exploring it as an option. The thing she really likes about this program is that there are academics in the first part of the day, and the second part is all the “fun stuff.” Lord knows how it takes a while for these kids to get out of summer mode and into school mode when the school year starts, so this would be a great way for the girls to keep their minds running over the summer. Plus, both girls would be placed with kids entering the same grades as them. Downside, it starts at Kindergarten aged kids, so only the older two would be able to go. Then the baby would have to be somewhere else.
This option is still on the table because many of the girls friends are going to be going to the school summer camp. It is robust, has tons of activities, and is high energy. But again, it is mainly outdoors, there is little to no academics but a lot of creative arts and crafts – so that is definitely good! Hey, the girls still have the fish pet that they got last year from camp! Plus, the girls will get to continue their friendships with their friends from the school year. Downside, again the baby will be too young, so will have to go somewhere else. And this option the girls will spend most of their day outdoors, which for Nina is not the most ideal situation. It also costs an arm and a leg – which is something to think about.
This option Nina had looked into last year and really liked it. The YMCA has a great summer camp! They not only have indoor swim instruction, but tons of activities, sports instruction, special events, games, arts & crafts, science projects. etc. But again, starts at Pre-K so the baby would have to go somewhere else. The cost of this program seems the most affordable when thinking about traditional summer camp programs. The older two would be placed with kids their age, so that is definitely attractive.
Sheena is clearly a fan of this option for the boys and they love it. She suggested Nina look into it this year for the girls. While the whole idea is awesome, a variety of classes, outdoor playtime/activities and field trips – it is a LOT of planning. Since it takes a ton of coordinating, planning, and scheduling to make this happen, Nina is a slightly turned off this option. However, at the same time, there is a great variety of types of activities that are offered for the girls, so it makes sense for them to get exposed to things like Bricks for Kids, science programs, martial arts, dance, etc. The downside here is that they start at 1st grade, so both the middle and little one would have to be somewhere else, so this option is likely off the table this year!