It’s the start of the third full week of summer break and is it just me or are you also realizing how much you value teachers for all that they do? I saw a funny meme recently that said, “Dear Parents…Tag You’re It!!! Love, Teachers.” Seriously! How hard is this full time parenting gig? Especially if you’re trying to work from home at the same time and it happens to be your busy season. Just sayin’!
If any of this is striking a chord with you I’ve assembled a quick 5 Steps to Summer Sanity to hopefully help get you through to September!
1. Think “Old Fashioned”
What did your summers look like when you were a kid? Mine were chock full of outdoor activities with neighborhood friends. We came inside to eat but other than that we were outside from sun up to sun down. We were playing baseball in the park, games like kick the can and ghosts in the graveyard, riding our bikes, running through sprinklers, tag (all varieties: freeze, t.v., statue), exploring fields, and having lemonade stands.
Most importantly, there was absolutely nothing organized by adults and we found many ways to fill our days with fun.
I try to remind myself of this when I’m feeling the need or pressure to entertain my kids.
Let them be bored! That is when kids get most creative and the magic happens.
2. Bored Board
If you are parent who limits screen time you might hear your kids complain about being bored. Have you seen this on Pinterest?
B – Been Creative?
O – Outside Play?
R – Read a book?
E – Exercised 20 mins?
D – Done something helpful?
I’m so making this on some poster board and putting it somewhere very visible in our house. New rule! You’re not allowed to complain about being bored unless you’ve tried all five things on this board first.
3. Prevent Summer Slide
If your kids are anything like ours they are constantly asking for screen time, especially to play on their tablets. In our house they have to earn small amounts of screen time by spending at minimum 30 minutes reading or doing math. Got to keep up those skills over the summer! And if your kids need an extra incentive to keep on reading your local library probably has a summer reading program. By participating kids can earn free tickets to fun places like Sky Zone Trampoline Park, the Milwaukee County Zoo and Betty Brinn Children’s Museum to name a few.
4. Totes Rule!
We have a tote in the garage full of “summer fun” (sidewalk chalk, bubbles, squirt guns, water balloons, sand toys, etc.). We have one in the house full of crafty stuff (Play-doh, window markers, foam stickers, beads, stamps, etc.). Yet another has activity books galore (sticker books, High Five/Highlights magazines, Seek and Find like Waldo, Hidden Pictures, etc.). Our kids get lost in these totes and it’s super easy to direct them to one when boredom strikes (or simply place one in an obvious location where they will discover it on their own).
5. Put them to work
Our kids know that if they come to me complaining that they’re bored they’ll be cleaning their rooms in no time flat. Or the bathrooms, the toy room, the garage, the car, you name it. I never have any trouble finding something for them to do; however, it might not be what they had in mind.
Summer is a time to enjoy less scheduled days. That being said sometimes the lack of a structured day will lead some children struggling with ideas to fill that time. Hopefully these five steps will help ease the boredom you may be hearing about in your household!