Allow Some Downtime
Even kids like to let go and just relax every now and then, so don’t fret if the first few days after school ends are a little unruly. It’s OK to let your child sleep late, stay in their pajamas, or skip their routine altogether! I wouldn’t recommend this for the entire summer, but there’s no harm in slacking for a few days after school ends, right? Your little ones have worked hard all year and they deserve some relaxation time, too!
Get Rid of the Clutter
Empty out those backpacks as soon as you can. If your child comes home from school at the end of the year with tons of papers, old supplies and a backpack full of stuff, go through it and get rid of whatever you can! Purge now, and it will be one less thing on your To Do list. (You’ll also eliminate the risk of finding a dried up ham sandwich come September!).
Don’t Give Up on Summer Learning
Summer slide is real! Take it from a former educator, it’s hard for children to transition back to school if there has been an absence of learning during the summer break. So don’t forget to add some learning experiences to your summer fun. This can be as simple as a summer reading list, or educational workbooks like the Summer Big Fun Workbooks from Highlights. For reading lists, pick books that your child can engage in, or colorful picture books that hold your child’s interest. See if your local library has a summer reading program. (Some even award prizes for reading achievements). Check out my complete Suggestion List for Summer Reading, or ask your local librarian for help.
Keep a Routine
Once you’ve allowed your child some time to unwind, consider keeping a routine. It doesn’t have to be the same as your school year, but it helps to give children some structure throughout their day. Let them know what time they are getting up, when they have lunch, when they go out with friends, and when you’re planning activities. Sometimes having a large, interactive calendar available helps, too. Kids can visually see their days planned for them, and know what to expect for the month ahead.
Have Play Dates
Don’t forget about your child’s friends this summer! It’s still important for them to see their classmates outside of school. Make play dates at playgrounds or parks if you don’t want to host at home. Take turns with other parents and have drop-off play dates, too. It will give you some much-needed alone time!
Make Vacation Plans
Even if you don’t have serious vacation plans this summer, make an effort to add in some local day trips. State parks are always fun to visit, or plan a hike with your family. Visit a local museum or the beach. My fellow Toy Insider Parent Panelist, Allison Jones, has some great travel tips for vacation getaways. And if you’re going on a big trip this summer, consider keeping a countdown chart. It’s always fun to count down the days until the big event!
Remember, summer is all about fun and relaxation. Don’t let the long, hot days stress you out! Enjoy the time you have with your family, because before you know it, you’ll be transitioning from summer to school again. For more tips on transitioning to summer break, check out Charlene DeLoach’s post, and enjoy that summer sun!