Hindsight Parenting: Nothing Beats Planning for the Summer

Creative planning can maximize summer fun for kids

It’s that time again!  Although I look forward to it all year, I also DREAD it as well.  Summer!

Time spent with our children–Yippee!

Time spent with our children–UGH!

The dichotomy of feelings that come with school-free children are ones that many parents feel, including me…ESPECIALLY me.  Last year, I tried to head off the dread and doom by planning, planning, planning, searching, searching, searching for fun things to keep my preschooler occupied. I began this searching/planning process in May. It was a rousing success.  Summer with my posse of “things to do” went smoother, felt better, and was enjoyable.

So this year, I decided that summer would be an even bigger success and much less stressful if I started planning in January.  I have to say I am pretty pleased with this year’s summer ideas.  I have broken them down for you into three categories as shared on my Pinterest board:  Outdoor Activities, Rainy Day Activities, and Summer Day Trips.

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Path of the Otter Summer Program

Path of the Otter Program in Ashfield

(c) Hilltown Families - Path of the Otter ProgramPath of the Otter will be offering a summer program in the hilltowns for children ages 5-7. This program is a playful introduction to earth awareness, nature exploration and naturalist and wilderness living skills. Kids participating will:

  • Learn to recognize, identify and follow animal signs
  • Learn to listen for and understand birds and bird language
  • Be introduced to exploration and survival skills
  • Learn to identify plants and their uses and hazards
  • To develop their senses
  • To be engaged in imaginative play
  • To listen to and tell stories(c) Hilltown Families - Path of the Otter Program

The summer program will be in Ashfield, MA on Tuesday in July & August from 9am-3pm. Dates include:

  • July 8, 15, 22, & 29, 2008
  • August 6, 13, 20, & 27, 2008

  • And be sure to check out their monthly program (May 17th & June 7th from 10am-1pm)

My daughter loved the Path of the Otter fall program. She enjoyed learning how to make a shelter with sticks and leaves, and she keeps talking about Rona’s fire making demonstration. This program is highly recommended for young, budding naturalists!

– Sienna Wildfield, Hilltown Families


Path of the Otter is an Earthwork Program ($$) and will be led by Rona Leventhal. Rona is an educator, storyteller and performer who weaves her skills together to engage children in the wonders of the natural world.


For more information, directions or to register call Frank Grindrod at (413) 522-0338, or email frank@earthworkprograms.com.

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