Summer is the time when children anticipate eight weeks of freedom, fun, and memory-making while parents anticipate eight weeks of juggling schedules and keeping the kids busy!
School is out and Summer is in! And this means children are home! Yes, summers are fun – you can enjoy lazy days by the pool, go on vacations, stumble on adventures and do things that you will not be able to do during school days. But summers can also be overwhelming with endless days of kids crying that they are bored, sibling fights, chaos, mess, and disorder!
It’s good for kids to be bored, that’s how they learn to be creative and a wavering mind is a great thing. And you don’t have to entertain your children all the time! We all want to make the most of the time with our children and make it enjoyable for your children and the family. But how can you smooth out the rough spots that can happen during these all-day-home times?
Summer camps are a great way to keep children occupied, but most camps are only half day and you may, for many reasons, not be able to send children to summer camps through all days of vacation.
Here are some tips to help you plan out your summer days, keep your sanity and make this summer more memorable!
8 Ideas to make this Summer memorable for your children
Have a schedule
Summer vacations tempt you to allow kids to skip their routine. And this will usually lead to chaos. While you don’t need to have every minute of the day planned, it is a good idea to draw out a schedule for the day. Keep a monthly schedule can help children see what is coming next and feel a sense of order. The schedule should be balanced with field trips, camps, fun activities, chores and unstructured free time as well. Also, have a daily schedule that lists a few things to do every day. Involve the children in making their plans for the day. These help children transition to and try different activities. Put it all in a chart where it is visible and easily accessible.
Reward Daily Reading
Reading guarantees some quiet time at home and also ensures your kids get their daily dose of think time. Draw out a reading list for children and teach them to track their reading. You can reward them with coupons, more books, movie time or ice cream when they achieve their reading goals. You can also use this time to bond over stories and read to them.
Set Goals and Objectives
There are a lot of fun things you can do during the summer. So many options that it is all overwhelming sometimes! Why not just focus on a few things instead? Ask your children what they want to do this summer and draw out a Summer Bucket list. Discuss and add to the list based on your priorities. Keep the list short and realistic. You can make a chart of this list and tick them off as you go.
Limit Gadgets and Screen time
Gadgets and screens seem to be the easiest way for parents to get some time to complete their work. But this may turn addictive and is not good for children and makes parenting in the longer run harder rather than easier. Restrict screen time to a weekly movie or options that suit your family. Show children how we need not waste summer time on devices by keeping them away yourself.
Spend time with family and friends
Get kids to spend time with extended family or friends. Organize sleepovers and play dates. You can swap time with your friends to keep the kids engaged. While you take the kids out one day, your friend or family and do another day. This will give your child something to look forward to and will give you some time off. And, children get to spend more time with their friends too!
Create a “Bored Box”. Put a bunch of activities on a piece of paper and put them into the box. Children can pick activities to do from this box when they are bored.
Keep realistic expectation
Life with children is always unpredictable and many times the plans you made may not work. Remind yourself to relax and go with the flow. The best part of summer is that nothing terrible will happen if you go off schedule! Enjoy your children and the summers you spend with them.
Let kids be kids
Loosen up a bit and make the kids play outside. Give them minimal toys and see what they come up with. Try fun activities like bubbles, body paints and clay play. Indulge in fruit-eating contests and hopscotch. At the same time, give them some control and let them plan what they want to do. Let them pick a movie for the movie night or choose what game to play.
Summer memories are made when kids try something new, bend rules, laugh a lot, stay up late and sleep under the stars! Most of these things do not require planning, money or time. All they need is to allow your child to explore what being a child is all about in the freedom of summer. I hope these ideas will help your family have an amazing summer!