Photo by Allan Mas via Pexels

Fun Structure in the Summer

June 20, 2023

by Kelly McCandless

With the middle of June already upon us, we can officially say we’ve survived the first… wait… only two weeks of summer?! We have 10 more weeks to go! Instead of wishing the time away or counting the days until school starts again, finding a routine and sticking to it will not only help you, but kids will thrive with some certainty and structure.

But providing structure without squashing all the fun is tricky. Summer can be a period of slowness… slow mornings, long afternoons, quiet evenings. But I promise, you can bring some routine without trampling on the lazy days of summer we all yearn for. 

Building the Structure

First, set some priorities. What is important for your family/household on summer days? What are the must-do’s and what are the want-to-dos? Next, determine what your household responds well to. Do you need daily or weekly to-do lists or schedules? Sometimes a calendar of what to expect each day can be tremendously helpful to kids navigating a little more freedom. Finally, what will your household commit to when it comes to being accountable for the plan you’ve built together? 

Filling the Time, Making the Memories

Honestly, that part is the easy part. Coming up with fun, educational, creative adventures and outings for the entire summer is exhausting. Here are some ideas to help keep you and your children busy AND learning throughout the summer: 

  • Go for a drive – Pompeys Pillar, Pictograph Cave State Park, Huntly Project Museum of Irrigated Agriculture (It’s cool, I promise!) – tons of opportunities to take in some history while running around somewhere new. 
  • Take an historic walk – check out the Western Heritage Center which offers TONS of opportunities to learn and engage with history in our area.
  • Bike rides – Billings has an amazing trail system many of which offer historic points of interest along the way! 
  • Take a dip at Lake Elmo – add some extra by renting a paddle board or kayak from Paddles & Wheels (a Billings Depot-Scheels collaboration)!
  • Visit a Book Store (we LOVE This House of Books!)
  • Hit the Parks
  • Splash Pads, wading pools, and Waterslides (Rose Park and The Oasis)! 
  • Cook together or plant flowers and vegetables (Practice math, reading, and science as you go!)
  • Stop by Yellowstone Art Museum – check out their events for kids and create your own home art projects.

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