Playing through Summer Vacation


The end of the school year marks the end of homework, fundraisers, special projects, student-teacher meetings, and did I mention homework. I am so thrilled that reading can be for pleasure and not a guilt-fueled race to get a specific amount of time in each evening. Now that the stress of summer vacation is over, we have spent at least two days simply enjoying one another and saying “no” to anything that is not wholly enjoyable as a family.

My children have settled into a routine of their own. In fact, they have both committee to full on play. I can’t remember a time that they have so fiercely engaged in this level of play. They even play together at times, which is still rare and ebbs at the best of times. I wonder if it’s a result of the overly structured schedule they have during the school year or the freedom that simply comes from warm summer days. They still spend quite a bit of time using electronic devices. For example, my son has been re-introduced to Chuggington. He has assembled and reassembled his train tracks several times in the past week. “Will you play with me?” He doesn’t even require someone to play with him, just sit on his bed while he sets off on an adventure.

My daughter will turn anything into a combination of scripted and imaginative play. Her kindle provides her with cooking shows, nursery rhymes and games that engage some of her social development needs. We make rainbow cake pops and cotton candy. I think she really misses sugar. She’s introduced me to “Jack and Jill” as her “friend Momma”.

“Say hi, Momma!” On cue Momma, Jack and Jill receive pails as we head outside to “fall down the hill”. I often make mistakes and have to me corrected by the teacher. I can only imagine how often that happens in her life.

For me, it’s an opportunity to witness the most intimate, silly and random thoughts that my six and seven year old they experience. My son acts out trouble on the train and “we must find a way” to fix it. He is always fixing things and making things better. Whereas my daughter names and records items in list form, most recently experimenting with Russian (I think). Or she can be found yelling, “like Momma”. Awesome, glad to share those moments!  

In any event, it’s fun to be around their imaginative play. No matter what the theme, they are playing with a sense of freedom that comes from just being a kid on summer vacation.

3 comments on “Playing through Summer Vacation”

  1. Love summer! When you’re a child, as are Noah and Sage, summer unlocks all the imaginative spontaneous play you describe. I saw it in your kids this past Sunday, as they cavorted in the water and “flew” off the driftwood. Play/learning/developing/blossoming are of a piece, and your beautiful children live it out day after magnificent summer day, thanks in so many ways to their fabulous cheerleader Moms! Love from this Mom/Gramma–

  2. So glad you all are having a really nice summer vacation! While I don’t like having to engage in imaginative play myself, I really enjoy listening to my daughter use her imagination – it’s awesome!

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