You love summer. It's filled with sun, outdoor activities and leisure time. But it's always challenging to get into the new routine, especially because you go from having tons of time to yourself while the kids are in school to hearing "Mom?" repeated at least 138,568,321 times a day. By the end of the summer, your kids are usually bouncing off the walls from the lack of routine. Does this sound familiar?
There is part of you that's excited that you don't have to schedule time to drive the kids to and from school. You can stay in your pajamas all day, and you don't have to scramble to get everything done as soon as you wake up in the morning. The other side of you is a little nervous about the summer descending into pure chaos.
So this summer, make a decision to do something different. Here's how to keep kids busy this summer so that everyone enjoys the time off.
Keeping the Routine
It's easy to fall into a schedule of watching too much TV in the summer. Face it, even if you really don't agree with your kiddos watching screens, it's one of the only ways that you can get anything done. But kids appreciate guidelines just as much as parents do. Not knowing what's coming next in the day can produce anxiety in children.
If your children are old enough, have them help you come up with a schedule of events for each day. During breakfast, you can discuss what the kids would like to do that day and break up the day with a variety of activities. This is a great time to talk about how much TV they can watch and when they can watch it. When it's time to turn off the tube and go outside and play, they'll be prepared.
Summer should be a time of play, but you don't want your kids to forget everything they learned during the school year. Even a short 15-minute learning session every day can keep their skills sharp. Make it fun by using LEGO bricks to do math problems or taking them outside to learn about nature. Creating a reading list and rewarding children for finishing each book can also be a fun summer task (and you can take field trips to the library).
Getting in Some Exercise
Even when it's too hot for the kids to run around outside, you can keep them moving indoors. Search YouTube for kids' yoga videos to do together, or learn a dance routine to a pop song with your teenager. Schedule this into your daily routine so everyone makes sure to move their bodies every day.
Keep kids busy with a laid-back routine and a little bit of planning, and the summer will feel much more enjoyable for everyone. Remember, though that this isn't boot camp. If things get off schedule, don't stress too much. Relax, and try to enjoy the time off just as much as your kids do.