It's that time of year! Your kids are starting to wrap up the school year, the nights are getting longer and warmer, and summer is only a week or two away! We’re all excited for summer, but if you have school aged kids, you know that the transition between the school year and summer can be a stressful time for both you AND the kids!
Here are a few of our favorite ways to make the transition as smooth as possible so you can skip over the awkward patch and get straight to the memory-making part!
- Have a family meeting before summer starts. This is a great time for you and the kids to get on the same page and makes planning so much easier for you as a parent! Ask your kids what they’re hoping to do this summer–are there any specific activities they’re looking forward to? What do they anticipate this summer to be like? Are there any new things they want to try? The answers to this question will be helpful for you to hear, and for your family to articulate! Not to mention, it makes it easy for your family to set some summer goals together! Maybe this summer you have a family goal to watch more sunsets together or to have a fire and s'mores three times before the summer is over! Maybe some of your kids want to work towards a financial goal, or to work on their sport or hobby!
- Make a family bucket list. Have a brainstorm session, create a list of activities for the family to enjoy all summer, and hang it in a place where the whole family can see it! This will remind you to plan activities into your weeks, and crossing those items off the list is SO satisfying! Looking for a few ideas? Here’s a sample bucket list of items that we love!
- Take a family outing to a local snow cone shack
- Visit a farmer’s market and pick out new produce to try
- Visit a local pool or enroll in swimming lessons
- Learn how to make homemade ice cream as a family
- Set up a table and art supplies for the family and paint the sunset together
- Go Ice blocking at a park
- Host a neighborhood chalk art walk
- Have a Tie-Dye day!
- Have a Bake Sale/Lemonade Stand
- Go Camping as a family
- Make tin foil dinners together
- Have a lake day and pack a frisbee
- Visit a local art festival
- Have a service day and look for local opportunities to serve
- Take turns having each child prepare and learn how to cook a meal of their choice for the rest of the family
- Regardless of your kids’ ages, summer is a great time to learn new things, even if school isn’t in session! Create a family reading challenge to get your kids excited about reading, find documentaries on topics that your kids are interested in and make a family movie night out of it, or simply come up with a list of age-appropriate skills that your kids would enjoy learning over the summer! It might be learning the alphabet, how to pump up their bike tires, how to call and make orders over the phone, how to swim all the strokes, or how to paint with watercolors–the options are endless! Look for local classes or camps to help with your kids’ summer learning, and praise them for their efforts, whether or not they look “successful”! Being exposed to new worlds and skill sets is a great way for your child to build confidence in their ability to try new things, and even to fail at new things before improving! And don’t let the kids have all the fun–make a list of things that you want to learn more about this summer and let your kids see you learning new things!
- Boredom is the worst! Structuring your kid’s days with a few age-appropriate chores is a great way to bring a little more predictability to those long summer days, teaches time management, and keeps things done around the house, too! Not to mention, play time after the chores are done is just that much sweeter and helps kids to stay motivated and creative! What is relaxation without a little work?
Regardless of how your summer looks, whether you have color coded job charts or scribbled-on sticky notes, grand vacations or a blow up pool in the back yard, we hope that you take time to enjoy these summer moments with the people you love most. Don’t be afraid to slow down and enjoy the not-so-picture-perfect craziness! In the end, the picture perfect parts aren’t the most memorable anyway.
Have a great Summer!
Love, your Saranoni Family