My nine-year old daughter reminded me the other day that they have “something like 10 days left” before schools out for summer. I looked at the calendar and realized she was right, summer is right around the corner and I haven’t created my “before school lets out to-do list”. Stress immediately set in as I racked my brain on what needs to be done to prepare myself (and the kids) for summer break.
(Lack of) Planning for Summer Break
Maybe someday I will save myself some stress from last minute activity scheduling and start pre-planning when April hits? Probably not, but here’s to hoping! I really thought I was doing well. I had signed the kids up for camp and swim team, but how did I think that would fill the long summer days? I know they are looking forward to a well-deserved reprieve from the long school days, but shifting gears to a more relaxed schedule can pose certain problems. Structure is important for kids, so instead of throwing the school year routine out the window, I’m going to revamp it with a new and improved summer schedule. My new mantra for summer happiness is CONSISTENCY!
Kicking off summertime
If you’ve never had the pleasure of wasting hours on Pinterest, you’re really doing yourself a disservice. I found so many great ideas on summer planning that other, more organized moms had shared on the site. I, of course, will happily copy them. One neat idea I came across was a “summer kick-off calendar”. How exciting for the kids to count down the days until the beginning of summer! Discussing the calendar is a good preface into talking with them about the upcoming changes the summer will bring, and setting expectations so there are less squabbles and more smiles.
What are some good summer activities?
Your child may be concerned about not seeing their school friends over the summer break, so on one of those “count down” days, make a point to exchange contact information with the parents of your kid’s friends. Hosting a play date is a great way to keep your kids connected with their friends, and can also give you a few minutes to yourself to refresh as the kids are busy playing. While on the subject of school, another summer prep idea is to talk to your kid’s teachers and see if there are any subjects your child needs to work on over the summer. Ask the teacher for some fun activity ideas you could do with your little one to help them out and ensure they are prepared for the next grade. Remember you want to make it fun for them, so they don’t feel like they’re still in school.
Sorting the kid’s summer clothes is at the top of my to-do list. I always say I’m going to do it…but it never gets done. Considering how close summer break is makes this a high priority chore. I know most of the clothes my kids wore last summer won’t fit due to major growth spurts. Consigning their clothes is a good way to make money for purchasing their new summer apparel. While in the spending mood, I’ll go ahead and stock up on bug spray and sunscreen. You can never have too much of either, because summer skincare is super important. Bug bites and/or sunburns are no bueno.
Summer Family Vacations
Lastly, if you haven’t planned your summer family vacay yet (and you plan on taking one), ‘ya need to get on the ball. Road trips are fun, educational, always an adventure and can super budget-friendly. Another bonus: Pinterest has hundreds of ideas on surviving road trips with kids.