This is part of a 100 Days of Summer Fun series where Oklahoma City metro moms share their ideal days with their kids. We hope it inspires you to try something new with your kids this summer! Find more Ideal Days on our list of 100 Days of Summer Fun.
Lindsay Cuomo is MetroFamily Magazine's calendar editor. She lives in Moore and reports below on an ideal day for her kids, two 6-year-old twin sons and a 3-year-old son.
When our schedule finally winds down enough where I can answer my kids’ favorite question of “What are we doing tomorrow?” with the blessed word “Nothing” something magical happens in our household. A few years ago, this rare event happened and my then 5-year old twins came up with a genius, though maybe a little frightening, idea of a kid-planned day. My husband and I exchanged fearful looks but decided to see what would happen.
Much to our surprise, my boys put together an incredibly sweet schedule that included a day filled with fun and mostly free favorite things to do. So, now it has become a bit of a regular tradition. I, gladly, hand over the day-planning reins, allowing my kids complete control. Well, within reason anyway. While the schedules now look a little different than that first hand-drawn checklist, here’s what a kid-planned day typically looks like at my house:
7 a.m.: Breakfast
No surprises happen here, I can guarantee one of two choices: pancakes or donuts. But, hey, it’s a treat, right?! We load up for the trip to pick out their favorite flavors or simply to enjoy some fluffy goodness fresh off the griddle.
8 a.m.: Cartoons
They always specify that we must all snuggle together and watch their latest favorite ‘toon. Our time on the couch is spent enjoying the show and talking about what the rest of the day will hold. Since their favorite show is currently Ninja Turtles our time together often evolves into a game of dress up and foam weaponry.
9 a.m.: Play Time
Now, after a brief clean-up, it’s time to head outside to a local park. We have several in our town on regular rotation. They choose which park they want to play at and, since they are calling the shots, a few special requests: a picnic, their new kites and snow cones. Yes, I know, more sugar! Some of our favorite parks in the Moore area are Veterans Memorial Park, Little River Park and Parmele Park. It is a kid-planned day after all. If outside play isn’t weather permitted, my boys love to have a family LEGO creation session.
My boys know it’s mom’s favorite time of day! Once again, we must all snuggle together. Though my big guys are a little past actually napping, the quiet time while their little brother rests is perfect for spending time with Mom.
2 p.m.: Museum
As a member of several local museums, I know I can work in some educational options to escape the summer heat. My middle son will almost always request a trip to what he calls the dinosaur museum, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, for part of the day. The Oklahoma City Zoo and the Science Museum are also usually high on their list.
4 p.m.: Daddy
While mom has been on duty all day, it’s Dad’s turn now! After an arrival filled with stories and re-enactments of their day, Dad is put in charge of dinner. A popular kid-planned day dinner is homemade pizzas and Daddy is the expert. Depending on what’s in the pantry, we make easy options like English muffin pizzas all the way up to made-from-scratch dough. The kids get to help out and top their own pizzas.
6 p.m.: Movie Night
After our tasty dinner, we head back to the couch for more snuggles, a movie and mom’s popcorn. Sometimes they switch it up and plan a board game night or even go visit a family member they want to spend time with.
8:30 p.m.: Bedtime
Usually worn completely out, all three boys typically end a kid planned day being carried to bed, snoring away.
For our family, a kid-planned day is a wonderful way to make memories and to shake things up. They aren’t too different from what I would have likely scheduled myself, but, my kids really enjoy dreaming up the perfect day. Sometimes, it’s the little details that they suggest that make all the difference in making a typical day an extraordinary day. And, they definitely enjoy being the boss!