Summer Break: Week 2

I had a better plan this week, which included making advanced preparation of dinners and packing lunches the night before. We also planned in advance for the kids to visit my mom and sleep over on Monday, so the week got off to a mellow start.

We spent a LOT of time in the park this week. Hours and hours at a time. On Wednesday we went out at 9:30 and came back at 3. I finally got up the nerve to let the kids take their bikes out and was really pleased with how well Laurel did. We got her a new bike for Christmas, but learning to use the hand brakes and gears proved to be a little too much for her at the time. After a few crashes, we stashed it in the garage and forgot about it for a while. The Bowling Green area of the park is perfect for practicing because it's fairly flat and there's a pretty big stretch where she can go back and forth without needing to turn around....and I could stay on the picnic blanket with Max and still see the kids. After 3 days of practice, she's so much better. Marko is a speed demon on the strider bike. Some neighborhood kids joined us some days, other days we just hung out on our own.

The other thing that went really well this week was Running Club. At least 20 kids showed up on Thursday and we did a short cross country loop in the woods. The kids liked it so much that some of them did it 3 or 4 times! I was really impressed with their stamina. We also ran sprints and played some tag. My expectations when starting this were pretty loose. I hoped kids would come and would enjoy running around. I want the kids to have a really positive association with outdoor exercise because I think running and walking in outdoor spaces are some of the most beneficial activities you can engage in throughout your whole life. I am also hoping to see the kids start to lead their own games, organize themselves, manage the conflict that arises during competition and make up new games. I could see this starting to take hold and I'm really excited to see where it goes.

This week, we did two food rescue missions. We also got a letter from our friend who went to New Mexico for the summer, so we can write a letter back now. I completely forgot to write down the books we read for the summer reading program, but we did go to the library and get new ones. The kids like getting prizes, but they read no matter what.

There was a little bit of "I'm bored" - but I read that was good for kids and sparks creativity. And sure enough I would soon find them at the Lego table, or getting out craft stuff or playing with the baby.

I did a terrible job of sleeping enough this week so I'm on the brink of exhaustion, but other than that things are pretty great.

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