There is less than a month left of school left. How crazy is that? This means summer break is going to be here before we know it.
Do you create a plan for your children over the summer, or do just let things land as they may? As an Organizing Expert, I, of course see the merit in planning, and, believe it or not, I also see the merit in spontaneity. That being said, what have you done to organize your child’s summer?
1. The experts will tell you that children love structure.
Kids love knowing what there is to look forward to, what is expected of them and when it is expected of them. Since many parents work year round, the structure that was put in place during the school year is also maintained throughout the summer. Bedtimes, wake up times and meal times may vary slightly, but not a whole lot. For those of you that get to spend the summer home with your children, having the same bedtime and the same wake-up time each day will keep them on some sort of schedule, creating an easier transition into the new school year.
There will, of course be days when schedules fly out the window. No big deal! Just get back on track as soon as you can.
2. What kinds of activities should we include in our children’s day?
In order to make sure the kids have well-rounded days, I think it’s a good idea to schedule things into their day or week. Make sure to include free time, creative time, time with friends, time spent with family and even some educational time.
- During free time, let your child decide what they are going to do. If they are continually choosing TV and video games for free time activity, consider brainstorming with them about some other fun ways to spend their free time. Museums, parks, swimming are all good ideas. Some of these might be more fun when done with a friend or family member.
- Creative time might include a craft or building project, gardening, or even an art class.
- Schedule play dates with friends ahead of time. This ensures that your child’s friends are available. Nothing like calling all your friends last minute and finding they are all busy!
- Educational or structured time would include things like reading, math, spelling and writing. In my humble opinion, taking 3 months off from any learning is detrimental to the child. The library has a summer reading program and there are some great workbooks that are available for any age level.
- And remember to let kids be kids. While camps and play dates are great, letting children find ways to amuse themselves is good too. This is a great time for them to focus on their own interests, become self sufficient and creative.
3. Keep a calendar.
Just in case you haven’t been keeping a family calendar, now is the time to start one. Keeping track of camps, play dates, sports, and vacations are imperative for a smooth running summer. Once you have gotten in the habit of using a family calendar, you will never live without one again. There are online family calendars (like Cozi) or a big old paper wall calendar will work just as well.
Summertime comes but once a year. Don’t let day to day life get in the way of having some fun. Enjoy the weather, enjoy some great food, and enjoy each other!
Sum, Sum, Summertime,