Free from their school routines and extra curricular activities, many kids can get bored quickly with the carefree days of summer. Summers are meant to be a downtime for families, an opportunity to decompress from an often hectic school year, but if left too unstructured, kids can become bored and not so pleasant to be around. So to help every parent out there maintain a peaceful easy summer here are a few tips.
- Maintain some type of structure to your child’s day. For parents who work outside the home, a day camp might be the best option here. Day camps give kids just enough structure to help maintain routines, but are often relaxed enough for kids to feel relieved from the daily pressures of school and extra curricular activities. For parents who don’t work outside the home, maintaining a routine can be a little more of a challenge. Start by keeping bedtimes and morning times relatively the same each day. Allow for the flexibility and pleasures of extended bedtimes, but try and keep them consistent everyday. Plan recurring outings (i.e. the library, swimming, museums, and picnics) for the same day each week. Always make sure you have at least one “do nothing” day built into the schedule. Monday’s are often a good day for these because kids are often tired from the weekends and need a little time to unwind.
- Arrange for your children to have time to play with kids other than their siblings. Nothing is worse than siblings who have grown tired of one another after only two weeks of summer break. Prevent this by arranging for your kids to play alone with their friends. Swap play dates or arrange sleepovers, or arrange for your children to take a camp with their friends.
- Have backup activities on hand as a last minute response to a sudden onset of the summer blues. Craft kits, science experiments, and yard games are all good options. Have the supplies and ideas on hand and stored in a box, so they are in easy access when needed.
- Keep them learning with fun relaxed learning activities. Reading contests and challenges are often a good way to keep their minds alert and reading throughout the summer. Check with your local library for one in your area. Summer activity books are another good option. Designed specifically for summer breaks, these activity books help keep the material they learned in school fresh in their minds.
- Let them explore their interests by enrolling them in a camp or class. Use the relaxing days of summer to encourage your kids to learn something new or pursue an interest they didn’t have time to learn during the school year. The relaxing summer atmosphere is often a good time to try these things because kids often will feel less pressure to succeed and perform.