Summer can be a fun and exciting time for families! There are so many activities they can do together, it feels like the options are endless. At the same time, summer break can sometimes feel stressful. Changing from a structured school schedule to extra free time can be overwhelming for kids (and parents). With a little bit of planning and a few tips, you can make the transition to summer a smooth one.
1. Keep a schedule
Keeping a schedule during the summer is a great way to help kids adjust without losing structure. One option is keeping a similar schedule to school time by having the same wake and bedtimes. This helps provide consistency for your child, and might even help with the transition back to school when summer ends. Another option is to plan a weekly or daily schedule. This might be more helpful if your family is planning a vacation or any other activity. To make this easier on your child, discuss your plans ahead of time. You could go over your plans for the next day at bedtime, remind them when they’re going to wake up, and if there are any activities they’re going to do.
2. Planning activities in advance
There are so many options for activities to do during the summer. This might feel overwhelming or like you have to complete all of them. Instead of trying to fit in every single activity, involve your child in your planning. Together you can plan out a summer bucket list with the activities you most want to do. Here are some tips on creating a stress-free summer bucket list. It’s also important to schedule down time. You can’t do activities all the time, both you and your child will start to feel overwhelmed and exhausted.
3. Use community resources
There are tons of community resources available for summer activities! Playing at the park, cooling off at a splash pad, or going on a hike are three free activities you can do with your family. This list of free activities to do in Utah, has tons of great ideas. Another option is checking out your local library. Many libraries have summer programs for families to participate in. I loved the summer reading program at my local library, but if yours doesn’t have one, you can always create your own.
4. It’s ok to be bored
During the summer it can feel like you have to keep your kids entertained all of the time. While this is an admirable effort, it’s not sustainable. It is okay for your child to be bored. Allowing your child to be bored can help them increase their creativity and gain independence. If your child comes to you saying that they’re bored here are a few example phrases you can use to redirect them:
- “Oh I love being bored, I can’t wait to see what you end up doing.”
- “That must be rough, but I trust that you can find something to do.”
- “This sounds like a great time to spend time with yourself and try something new.”
If your child is really struggling with boredom, you can create a bored jar full of activities they can do on their own. Here is a list of 16 activities for kids under 6 that you could include in your jar.
5. Encourage summer learning
Finally, summertime is also a great time to encourage your child’s learning. There are lots of activities that are fun and educational. If you want more information about keeping your child from falling behind during summer break, check out this blog post!
I hope these tips and tricks help your family have an enjoyable summer spending time together!