It’s almost time to grab your bathing suit, sunglasses, sunscreen, flipflops, and all of your summer essentials because summer is right around the corner! Ahhhhh summer! That means relaxing on the beach with a book in hand, sipping on your ice-cold lemonade, laughing with your best friend…right? Well, there may be some version of that happening here and there, but for the most part summer with kids takes on an entirely different meaning.
Our children work so hard all year long when it comes to school, after school activities, relationships, personal and family responsibilities, and more. Summer is the perfect time for a reset! It’s a more relaxed season with less responsibility; however, it’s our job as parents to keep children thriving and make sure they stay on track…while of course having lots of FUN!
The Big 5
Have a routine and reasonable expectations
With a more relaxed vibe, summer can lead to chaos and disorganization if you don’t have a routine in place for your children. Keep it light and simple by creating a schedule that lists times for activities, independent time, meals, time outdoors, physical activity, play dates, chores, etc. Don’t overload your days; however, use it as a tool to provide structure and purpose to each day. This will help your child understand the expectations set forth and look forward to what’s ahead.
Incorporate reading everyday
Reading truly is FUNdamental…did you catch the FUN part? That’s because reading is FUN! It is our job as parents to provide our children with easy access to all types of reading materials so that we capture their likes and interests. When children have the opportunity to read books that they really enjoy, whether it be independently or with a grown-up, they are way more captivated and eager to read and learn. Read in a cozy nook inside or under a tree outside…just READ!
Reading encourages a child’s imagination to soar and gets their creative juices flowing! Plan trips to your local library or book store and stock up on all of their favorites. Most public libraries host a summer reading program that offers a great curriculum, along with special incentives and prizes! Summer is guaranteed to be a lot more FUN when reading is involved! And you’ll thank yourself, as well as their teachers, when they are rocking and rolling in the reading department!
Get outside and play
The great outdoors is your child’s best friend over the summer! Take advantage of the beautiful weather, step away from the screens, and let their imaginations run wild. Nature paves the way for curious and innovative minds to explore, problem solve and create. There’s nothing better than spending countless hours outside all summer long. The fresh air, sun on your face, and time spent with friends and family is priceless.
Being outside in the nature affords children to opportunity to run and move their bodies freely! Movement and exercise are super important for your child’s health and there are so many ways to incorporate them into their daily routines. Some ideas include jump roping, hopscotch, basketball, tag, soccer, baseball, dance, gymnastics, swimming, hide and seek, playground fun, tennis, lacrosse, biking, rollerblading, hula hooping and so much more!
Memories to last a lifetime are made during these summer days spent outside!
What does your child really love? Build upon that and carve out time to create with them!
Do they enjoy crafting? Bust out all of your crafts supplies and create a masterpiece with your child. Base it off their current likes/interests and let their creative minds do the rest! If your child is younger and needs more direction, present them with a craft idea that has simple step by step directions. Set it up for you to craft with them or with a friend/family member. Craft away all summer long and at the end of the season compile your works of art into a scrap book or store in a memory box.
Do they enjoy hands on projects? Depending on what your child is into, there are so many project possibilities. Here are a few suggestions: woodworking (you can scoop up little kits at Home Depot/Lowes or any craft store), photography, painting, design, room makeovers, jewelry making and gardening…just to name a few! Summer projects will keep their hands, hearts and minds busy all summer long, not to mention something to be proud of upon completion!
Does your child enjoy cooking/baking? Look up some recipes together that they’ll enjoy eating because it’s always more fun to like what you cook/bake. This is the perfect way to learn the skills and techniques required to cook/bake. You can come up with a schedule and allow them to cook/bake for meals and/or desserts at home during the week, as well as plan for bringing meals/desserts to summer get togethers! You can certainly imagine they’ll be over-the-moon when they show up at a summer party with a dish they made themselves!
Teach your child a new skill
Sit down with your child and have a conversation about a new skill that they’d like to learn over the summer. If they choose something that you as a parent can teach them, perfect! If they choose something that’s outside of your scope, make a plan.
You can get right to work if your child picked something that you can easily teach them! Incorporate time to spend together on this when making your daily schedule. Spending this time together is so good for your relationship and for your child to strengthen their list of skills and talents. If your child is able to master the new skill by the end of the summer, be sure to commemorate a job well done with a celebration of some sort!
Let’s say that the new skill your child wishes to learn is not something you can teach them from the comfort of home, nor do you have the skill set to do so…operation set up a time and place to make it happen! Maybe that means signing your child up for a class or camp of some sort or pairing them up with a friend or family member that can help out. Developing and learning new skills that are especially of interest to your child is extremely important and helps build their confidence. So, no matter what they decide on, do your best to work alongside them to help them succeed and add to their bag of tricks.
That’s a wrap! We hope your summer is full of love, learning, adventures and most all, FUN!