Summer break is upon us or will be soon! Most children are definitely looking forward to the break from school, as well as some parents…sleeping in, more time with your children, fun summer activities…some parents, not so much…trying to keep children entertained, being home with your children all day or who is going to watch your children all day, and getting tired of hearing “Can I have a snack?” or “I’m bored!” 20 times a day! Whether you’re excited or apprehensive, or even both, there are ways to make this summer enjoyable both for you and your children.
Here are 5 quick tips to help you and your children enjoy the upcoming summer break:
- Plan Ahead
Don’t wait until the last month of school to start thinking about the fun activities, trips, and projects you or your children would like to participate in during the summer break. Take some time, as early as possible, to start researching summer camps, vacation destinations, theme parks, water parks, museums, etc., then put the activities on your calendar. Knowing that you have plans in place will help ease any anxiety or worry you may be experiencing, as well as still provide some structure and routine that children need. However, it is also good to be flexible and allow room for change or cancellations, when needed. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned or you (or your child) may not feel like doing that activity at that time anymore. That’s ok! Or if planning an entire summer schedule in advance is overwhelming for you…maybe you just need to plan a week or two, in advance, and that’s ok, also. Also, remember that all of the activities that you plan does not have to cost money. You can have fun at the park, watch a movie at home, play a board game, go for a walk or bike ride, etc. There’s also lots of groups on social media, newsletters, blogs, etc., that share different local (often free or low cost) activities. Just remember, not to overschedule yourself or your children! Everything doesn’t need to be scheduled!
- Implement a “Relax Day”
It’s always good to just stay home and just do nothing from time to time! In my house, sometimes, we even just stay in our pajamas all day and do nothing, other than watch tv, play games, take naps, and of course, eat. Sometimes, we aren’t even in the same room in the house. Everyone is just doing their own thing! If you’re a person who tend to schedule everything, then schedule that…it’s ok! It doesn’t have to be every week or it can be several days out of the week. Just take the time to enjoy each other and relax! You may find that may be some of your best family memories.
- Keep Learning!
Just because school is out, doesn’t mean the learning has to end! While children (and adults) need a break and time to relax and unwind, children lose a lot of what they learned, during that 10 weeks or so, of summer break, which can make them struggle more, when they resume school in the Fall. Learning can be reading time, a few minutes of working out math problems on a worksheet, or even some educational apps. Even family vacations can be educational, by having your child journal or write about what they learned, saw, or experienced.
- Limit Social Media and ElectronicsThere is nothing wrong with social media and electronics, however, moderation is important. Encourage your child to play outside, play board games, participate in a summer sport, etc. Remember, social interaction is important, also!
- Parents, Carve Out Time for Yourselves
Parents, you need a break, too! Drop offs, pick ups, homework, school meetings, school events, extracurricular activities, etc. are a lot of work, also. So, try to take some well-deserved time for yourself, during this break, as well! You earned it!