I could use some help from the GT community. I’m trying to brainstorm some ideas about what to do with the kids this summer.

I’m not a stay-at-home mom. I’m a mother who works a rather demanding 9-5 job from a desk in the living room. I can’t peace out for a few hours to go hit up a park or hang in the public library or do an art project. I have to work.

Sadly, every FUCKING recommendation I’ve come across has been geared towards SAHPs. They require a ton of set-up, or clean-up, or monitoring, or going to a separate location.

Last year, my mother was supposed to take the kids a few days a week, but she took them, maybe, once a fortnight. I was unprepared for this, so they basically played video games all summer.

My first thought was to tell them that they couldn’t get on screens until a certain time. The boy tipped his hand almost immediately. “Oh, then I’ll just sleep in until then.” One day, he’ll learn to think before he speaks.

Instead, I decided that they are going to have to earn their screen time. The catch: I need good brain stuff for them to do that does NOT require any involvement on my part. Like, ANY.

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My ideas so far:

  • Do your chores (required every day)
  • Do some reading, and write me a paragraph on what you read (because they will 100% stare at a book for an hour without reading one word)
  • Write something. Anything. Just make sure it’s something you can actually show me
  • Go outside for a while
  • (For the older child) Get on the bus and go somewhere
  • Come to me with something you’d like to do in the city or the country during the next open weekend. Include what, exactly, you’d like to see and do. A price list would be nice as well (Mr. Cunning suggested this one, and I like it because it’ll force them to think ahead and use some of their screen time for research)
  • ... And this is where I run out.

So, any ideas? We have a few camps lined up, but the camps in my area are ridiculous. Most only run for a few hours, which kind of defeats the purpose of having them.