The SMART Back to Basics Summer Project. Bring it ON!

I’ve spoken to hundreds of moms and everyone seems to have the same complaint. How do we get our kids off electronics and back to basics? How do we teach them to connect with people on a deeper level? How do we teach them to search for a solution using their minds and not just with a push of a button?

Sometimes I just want to shout, “Stop looking down and take the time to look up, connect and enjoy the moment.” I am determined to teach them the amazing benefits of life unplugged!

And voila, that inspired me to set up my summer of getting back to basics plan begins! It’s time to look up, connect and experience real feelings, real emotions, real people, real nature – everything REAL and NOTHING electronic.

I’m calling it ‘My SMART Back to Basics Summer Project’. The goal is to encourage SMART skills unplugged. Kids, here we go!

  1. Play Outside WITHOUT Scheduled Activities –Grab a ball, sand, sticks, stones and more and just figure it out! Come up with a game. Use your creativity!
  2. Learn to be Bored and Enjoy– Sleep, rest, shut down and disconnect! Begin to appreciate quiet time and let your mind wander.www.thesmartplaybook
  3. Go for Nature Walks – Let’s go outside and explore the garden or a park. Find worms, lady bugs, crabs at the beach and more. Ask each other questions about these tiny little creatures. Inspire curiosity!
  4. Plant a Garden – Plant herbs, vegetables, and flowers. Let’s take care of something and watch it
  5. Read a Good Book/Start a Book Club (practice connecting and having conversations with others). Here’s a great opportunity to connect with other kids and moms in the neighborhood. Come up with themes and make the book club day something your kids look forward to (and parents too)! Click here to read how to start a book club.
  6. Play Board Games Chutes and Ladder, Monopoly, Cards, Scrabble, Chess etc. There are so many lessons to be learned with board games. A perfect rainy day activity too. To read a post on all the amazing benefits of board games click here
  7. Use Your Imagination – Create an Obstacle Course (planning, using your imagination)! A ladder, a rope, some cans, and chalk. Let the kids explore the garage for obstacles they can use for their race and let the fun begin. Draw, paint, bubbles etc.
  8. Make a New Friend –Actively make new friends this summer. This is a great way to encourage social skills and good manners. Is your child a good conversationalist? Do they know the basics on how to initiate a conversation?
  9. Plan and Host a Picnic or BBQ (good host/guest)- I love this because it works for both the young kiddos and the teenagers. Let them have friends over but encourage them to organize a special occasion. Maybe it’s a pool party? A volleyball tournament? A mini Olympics? Encourage them to plan, organize and host. A fantastic way to practice being a good host/guest. Here’s a post I wrote on just the topic!
  10. Learn to Cook and Proper Nutrition – I wish I had the time to inspire and make master chefs. I’ll be happy if they leave the house one day with basic cooking skills – how to make eggs, toast, pasta, sandwiches, salads, cookies & cake, soup and more. Rotate and take turns to make sure all the kiddos learn the basics!
  11. Basic First Aid (safety)- It’s the summer of First Aid 101 in our household. Learning how to take care of yourself and others with basic first aid is essential. First things first, where is the first aid kit in the house? What’s in the kit and how do you use each item? Basic wound care? How to take care of a bee sting? Etc. If we can fit it in, I would also love to find a refresher CPR course for the entire family.
  12. Laundry – I’m taking the opportunity to reinforce basic laundry skills this summer. How to separate the laundry, load the washer and dryer, remove stains, use bleach, dryer settings and more. Kids, you’ll be ready for college in no time!
  13. Earn Money – Money does not grow on trees! Here’s a chance to come up with jobs around the house and the neighborhood. Or perhaps the younger kids can set up a lemonade stand. Ready to conquer finances! Here’s a post I recently wrote about finances.
  14. Discover Something New! Kids, it is time to learn something new! Maybe it’s a new recipe, a new hobby, a new skill, a new hobby? Just make it a goal to find something new and interesting to learn.
  15. Initiate LOTS of Acts of Kindness! Respect and kindness are BIG on my wish list for my kids. Let’s brainstorm on lots of things we can do for others this summer. Bake cookies, drop off gently used clothes, volunteer, bring someone flowers etc. etc. etc. Take the kindness challenge. (CLICK HERE- free printable) 

And for those of you that would like to take it a step further and encourage great social skills and manners. Consider trying the SMART challenge with The SMART Playbooks. Fun engaging activity books to encourage social skills, manners, confidence, and integrity.

Now that’s a complete list without electronic! Parents, can your kids conquer all of them this summer? Good luck!

What else will you put on your summer project list? Happy Summer!






Suzanne Wind About Suzanne Wind

Suzanne Wind is a wife, mom of three and author of the award-winning series, The SMART Playbook and Lil' Champs Play it SMART. Her passion is to empower parents to teach the next generation social skills that fit a modern world and are the key to their future successes. She writes about ideas and activities designed to help children gain confidence and character.
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