Where do you get your organizing inspiration? I think most of us want something of a routine and of course, a clean and functional house (although I’ve found I can live pretty well with the opposite!). My boys are out of school for the summer and we have been struggling to find routines and new activities to make our day’s amount to more than sitting around watching television. They’ve reached the age where that is somewhat of a battle. In the past, we’ve done a “theme” for each of our summer weekdays. For example, Mondays were library days (a good excuse to join the summer reading programs and keep them reading!), Tuesdays were craft days, Wednesdays were water days, Thursdays were science days (Sneaking education into fun activities never hurts!), and Fridays were field trip days (wish I could take credit for the great idea of taking a field trip every Friday in the summer but I stole it from a friend).
This summer though I’ve had a bit of a block about what themes to give our days. All I knew was that they needed to get out of the house and that all they wanted was to go the pool every single day (except it didn’t open until last weekend). I knew we would keep Mondays as library days as the pool is closed on that day anyway. Since they’ve reached the age where they can be a bit more self-sufficient and responsible, I want to add in cooking and household chores. Field trip days would remain as we haven’t come close to seeing all there is to do in our city. However, it does get challenging to find things that aren’t overly expensive and will appeal to both boys. I needed inspiration for how to organize and select the field trips that needed to be mostly free.
A trip to one of our local nature centers provided just that! One day earlier this week, in an attempt to get them out of the house and recollect some sanity, I announced we were going on a “nature burst” (a term I borrowed from our elementary school where the students participate in short bouts of physical exercise during the classroom hours referred to as “energy bursts”). We went to the center and took a short hike on one of their paved trails before checking out the live turtle, catfish, and new to us speckled king snake on display in the small nature center. Sitting on the desk inside were the Passports to Adventure books. They list several educational and nature areas around the city. Corresponding to each location is a question for the kids to answer and then a place for a stamp by the location. If we complete visits to 16 of the 25 places listed, the kids can hand in their books for a prize package that will be mailed to them. A new idea book for our field trip days, mail, and a prize packet! Our fieldtrip days are officially organized now.