If your kids are not finished with school yet, they will be soon. How are you feeling about that?
I know lots of parents that love this time of year! They are super excited for more relaxed time as a family. But then I know other parents that are anxious. They don't know exactly what to do and are concerned about the amount of unstructured hours during the day.
So now is the time to come up with a plan. Here are some practical ideas for you to try that will help you structure the day and have a lot of fun connecting together.
Create a bucket list. Allow all members of the family to add items to the list of fun adventures they would like to try this summer. It could be anything from writing with chalk on the driveway, selling lemonade, to going to a water park, to bike rides by the lake. Whatever they think of. You might want to prep ahead of time by checking out local community agencies and see what they have going on this summer. Try to steer away from expensive events, you don't want to add more stress.
But most of them could be free and simple. You can add items based on coupons you have lying around. Then print out the list with check boxes and put it on the fridge. Then as you accomplish each item you can have someone check it off. Here is a sample of a bucket list.
Keep it predictable and routine. Kids from hard places feel safer when their week and day is scheduled out. They want to know what is coming and when. Put up visual reminders of what day it is and what they will be doing. Most of them are used to this in school, carry it over into your home. For example, go to the library on Tuesdays, go grocery shopping on Thursdays, etc.
Another idea is to motivate your younger kids to keep variety in their day with a Rainbow chart.
The goal is that your child will be choose activities during the day that will allow them to: Be Active, Be Calm, Be Kind, Be Helpful, Be Smart, Be Creative. Each topic has a colour of the rainbow and as your child engages in the activity they get a sticker in that column. You can then reward with prizes when they accomplish certain levels (for example, when they have one sticker in each colour or when they have 10 stickers, etc). You can take a look at one I used with our kids here.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind when planning your summer...