It’s time to put your thinking cap back on Mommy!
No matter what school looked like this year, summer is coming, and you are probably IT!
Let’s get our minds right to set the family up for success this summer. Here are 8 thing to survive summer with kids:
1. Skeleton Routine
The schedule doesn’t have to be ridiculous and over the top like the school year. In fact, I suggest that it isn’t. Don’t overbook. Resist the urge to fling the kids to and fro’. You’ve been running, zooming (literally), and juggling all year!
Peace be still!
It’s always easier to add more than it is to take away.
I suggest before signing up for anything, create a skeleton routine to keep your sanity. Take a few minutes to write out what a typical day will look out. Then look at the weeks as a whole and plug in the fun stuff. Space it out. Summer is the time to slow the pace.
If the children are 5 and up, include them in the process of creating the skelteton schedule. This will help you to get their buy in. Do it the mommy way though- have a general idea of how you want the days to go before the conversation with the children.
Here are a few questions to consider when creating the skeleton routine with the children:
- What kinds of things do they consider must-do’s?
- What’s on everyone’s summer bucket list?
- What are the core daily routine things like brushing teeth, daily chores, tv time, phone/device time, etc.?
Setting up a few boundaries ahead of time will make life easier for all.
2. Go to Snacks
If the pandemic, taught us anything it’s that children do not use their “school stomachs” at home. They see the snack stash and want to eat it all up in one day.
Create a simple snack system so the children know when and what they can help themselves to.
By system I mean:
- what to eat,
- when to eat, and
- where to get it, WITHOUT the Mom!
Mom sets up and stocks the snack station. The kids do the rest.
For example: For AM snack time help yourself to some fruit; for the PM snack grab one item from the pantry stash. If your children are already accustomed to a school schedule, keep that going, then they won’t have to adjust.
I also recommend taking a few minutes to organize a snack station in the pantry. It can be as simple as a corner of a shelf. Or repurpose a few baskets and bins to organize the snacks.
Whatever is going to keep the always hungry children from begging you for food all day!
Most school age children will have a suggested summer reading list. If not, your local library most certainly will. Print the list.
Hype up reading time by pairing it with your children’s interests, best time of day, and favorite spaces. If reading in your bed will make them read happily, then that’s the spot. If crafting bookmarks will create some excitement, why not? It doesn’t have to be expensive.
A little effort to hype reading up will go far.
Plan library visits into your schedule. Check out or add to cart, the children need a few good books to read over the summer.
But you can’t wait until your nerves are shot and the kids are wild. Don’t use reading as a calm down punishment. (Blog post on this coming soon.). Take some time before the summer hits to think consider WHAT DOES YOUR CHILD LIKE in order to make their summer reading fun. Find books and reading materials that they will find interesting.
Have an older child that’s still not into reading? Let them read along to an audio version of the book with a physical copy in hand. That may be just the thing to lure them in. IT’S SUMMER! Reading can and should be fun!
Elementary children-aged always benefit from basic facts review. The summer slump was VERY real pre-pandemic times, so we know sharpening up those core math facts is even more essential now.
Facts can easily become rusty over the summer. Flash Cards from the Dollar Store review 10-15 minutes a *few days a week will keep them sharp.
You can have older children ‘help’ the younger ones which will serve double duty. Both children will get a review!
*If the child is struggling in Math, I recommend 15-20 minutes of flashcard time daily with a parent, until the child shows some level of mastery. Then a few times a week for memory retention.
For the older children, make sure they complete any work the school recommends. This will keep them on track. Outside of what the school recommends, you can also focus on real life math skills:
- Telling time on analog clocks (you’d be surprised how many teens need a phone to tell time)
- Calculate the tip on restaurant bills
- Estimate a grocery bill
- Estimate a tank of gas
- Noticing the cost of everyday things
- Balance a checkbook + how to write a check
- Budgeting + paying household bills (Let them see and help.)
- Calculate credit card interest (Hopefully, you can share your bill.)
5. Vitamin D:
Do as much as you can outside in the sun.
6. Screen Time Hours:
They’ve had enough screens honestly. Children need screen timeD! But this is the world we live in. Your skeleton routine will already help set clear boundaries for screen time.
But I have one more tip to make your life easier, purchase a kitchen timer or learning timer.
Yes, you could set one on your phone, or tell them to set one on their device, but that’s still a device and can go left.
There’s something about an outside timer that works. The timer becomes the bad guy not you. Now, this only works when you stick to the time limits you set.
If timers are new to your children, they may whine at first but children can and will get in line. I promise.
Set the boundaries.
They will be happier gamers, YouTube watchers, Facetimers.
They will appreciate their screen time, just watch.
Depending on the age of your children the screen times may vary. As always, Mommy knows best.
This one is so simple but often overlooked. Every child AND MOM needs a big ol’ water bottle.
Every morning fill those water bottles up.
Drink. Refill. Repeat.
Everyone can fill up their own water bottles or, take turns making the water bottles. Hype up the best water filler-upper.
You can #cr8joi while hydrating. ‘
8. Fun, fun:
It’s been a long year and a half yawl. Fun, FUN (real fun) is long overdue! Fun can be as simple as a sprinkler in the yard, a hike and picnic, or a fancy family vacation. Whatever you choose, make sure fun, FUN is on the list.