Long, lazy days. No schedule, no commitments. Endless free time.
Is this how you envision summer? I would imagine such a carefree picture is not reality for most people. While the school year coming to an end does not mean that obligations and demands cease to exist for three months, it can be a great opportunity for kids to relax and recharge. For kids, having a balance between a structured schedule and full freedom is the key to having a happy, healthy summer. Listed below are some tips to help make the transition from school to summer a smooth one:
Keep Your Routines
You have worked hard all school year to enforce routines, so don’t give up on them in the summer! Be flexible and willing to adapt routines to a summer schedule. Chores and bedtimes are examples of routines that can be modified for summer but should not be given up entirely. Have a family meeting to discuss these changes so the expectations are clear and everyone is on the same page. This will help keep you from starting back at square one on the first day of school in fall!
Check out Educationworld.com to find great ideas that will keep your kids’ brains active and learning this summer. The activities are both entertaining and educational!
Create a “Summer Fun List”
Have each child write down at least 5 things that he/she would like to do over summer break. Coordinate the lists with the summer calendar, and if their requests are within reason, make them happen! Ideas could include the following: going on a picnic, spending the day at a community pool, or planning a bike ride to a new spot.
Schedule Free Time
Creating a summer schedule should help you and your kids do all the fun things you’re looking forward to. It shouldn’t make you feel overwhelmed and overscheduled. If your week feels too busy, replace some activities with unstructured time so you have plenty of time to relax. Research shows that kids who have more free playtime during childhood are better at adapting to changing circumstances and environments.
Stay Connected with Friends
Play dates with peers are a great summertime activity. Kids learn a lot through playing together, including skills such as negotiation, compromise, taking turns, communication, and imaginative play. Swap contact information with the parents of your child’s school friends before the end of the year so you can make planning easier.
May God bless your family as you plan for a fun, refreshing summer!
Tips and ideas taken from: