About a month ago, with summer approaching, I started thinking about what we could do everyday. Not just activities all three (or four) of us would enjoy, but something Ben and I could do during Sam's naps. He still naps 2+ hours most days. That's when Ben was at school, so I knew my quiet, alone time was turning into Ben time. He's not exactly a play-quietly-by-himself kind of kid. So rather than caving everyday and letting him play an hour or more of video games, I decided we should do something constructive. A summer project.
So I started looking around online, not entirely sure WHAT I was looking for. A big art project? A summer-long science experiment? Maybe we could make a movie - write the script, gather props, film it. But, honestly, I wasn't that enthusiastic about anything I was thinking of or finding. I'm not a crafty person and neither is Ben. A science experiment could be neat, but I wasn't sure I'd have the energy to keep up with it. Making a movie sounds cool, but is probably a better summer project for when the boys are older.
Thus, summer started and I had no concrete plan for Ben's and my afternoons aside from "play board games." Which we both love, but we only have a limited number of games he's ready to play and even the fun ones would get boring after a while. But then fate stepped in, in the form of Heath's old Roald Dahl and Judy Blume books. Ben has been ravenous to read them, so every afternoon we spend an hour or more reading together. It's so fun! I signed him up for the library summer reading program and we are well on our way to earning him prizes.
I love reading, but I think of it as mostly a solo activity, so I guess that's why I never thought of spending our lazy afternoons with books. But it's become a great way for Ben and me to connect without having to talk endlessly about Super Mario Brothers. And it's so much more fun than doing stupid summer crafts.