Summer breaks away from school are an exciting time for children, however for parents, it might seem chaotic. Many parents find it difficult to juggle life and work when their kids are on break from school, during the regular summer break or when there is a holiday (like Christmas). This time of the season does not have to be chaotic. The following ten steps could help parents remain calm, cool and collect, while keeping their kiddos entertained and active so that everybody can enjoy the summer vacation.
1.) Create a Schedule
If you and your children create a schedule, it could ease stress or eliminate down time (sitting around/feeling bored). Your kids will know what is planned (in advance) and will be able to enjoy the activities even more. That helps you as well. You will be grateful you created a schedule.
Some Ideas for Summer Break Activities
During a school break, you and your children are not only going to join in on activities together, but you and your kids could also make some long-lasting memories during the vacation.
What activities you plan might depend on the time of year, the weather during the break or your area and what is available for entertainment. Here are a few ideas to get you started with your activity schedule:
- Visit a nearby park
- Visit the zoo or a museum
- Visit a local children’s fair or create one of your own little fairs
- Have a cookie-making session at home
- Visit the circus if it is in town
- Play age-appropriate board or card games
- Plan a local train ride
- Go to a nearby public swimming pool or public lake that supplies picnic tables and grills
- Go to the movies or create a home movie theater with all the theater goodies (popcorn, junior mints, soda, etc.)
- Create a home puppet show
- Try Geocaching
- Have a photo-taking contest
- Take the kiddos for a pony ride, and more…
2.) Try to Space Out Activities
Back-to-back activities could result in your children becoming overtired, and they might not be interested in anymore entertainment if that happens. While creating a schedule, it might be a good idea to schedule breaks in between activities (maybe schedule in TV time or a nap, depending on the ages of your kids).
3.) Another Activity You Might Consider
Another event you might want to schedule during summer break is school-supply shopping. Statistics reveal (Zulily.com. (2019)) that shopping for school supplies at the last minute, just before school starts in the Fall, stresses parents out. You and your kids can avoid long cash register lines and crowded stores by shopping for school supplies earlier in the season. It might be an entertaining and enjoyable time for your children, and for you as well.
4.) Try to Plan According to Your Budget
When you create a schedule for your school break, you might endure less stress if the schedule includes activities that fit to your budget. If you end up spending a lot of money on each activity and go over your budget, you might endure more anxiety while your kids are on school vacation. Even a trip to a local park could make your children’s faces light up, and it will not cost you one penny.
5.) Try to Find Ways for Your Children to Assist with Daily Household Tasks
During summer break, you probably have daily household tasks to complete. If you can get the kids involved with the tasks and offer them a reward (like a trip to a public swimming pool or to go out for ice-cream sundaes, etc.), you can accomplish those goals, they help with the tasks, and you all get rewarded. It takes up some gaps in time during the school vacation, and your children might learn new tools for future use too.
6.) Schedule Some Time for “Lazy” time
If you know the weather might be cloudy or rainy for a day or two during your kids’ summer break, you might want to schedule those days as “lazy” days. Your children might enjoy staying in their PJ’s for a half a day or for a whole day, while they watch TV, play some games or sleep in.
You all might enjoy these days, and you may wish to lounge around and watch movies. Maybe you and your children could do some crafts on your “lazy” days. Another idea that might intrigue your little ones is if you plan a slumber party, and you could invite a few of their friends over.
7.) Stock up on Necessities for the Summer School Break
Prior to your kids’ school vacation, you might want to double check and make sure you have all the necessities for all the activities you schedule, like:
- Insect repellent
- Band aids
- Tylenol/Ibuprofen, etc.
- Antibiotic ointment, and so forth…
Hopefully, the summer or holiday school break will be without any injuries. But, as with all children, there are times when little scratches or cuts might occur, especially if they get so excited that they run too quickly, and they trip and fall. Little things like that might happen, but you will be prepared. If you have a first aid kit, too, you might have the opportunity to educate your kids about first aid treatment in the process.
If you have vacation time accrued at work, you might consider taking a vacation when your kids do too.
8.) Schedule your Child’s Dental Appointment During Summer Break
While school is in session, and if you work too, scheduling dental visits might be tough to accomplish. Although it might now sound like a fun event for your children while they are on vacation, it might be something that needs to be done. You could reward your kids after their dental visits too.
9.) Your Kids Might Enjoy Staying Up Later During Their School Break
After all, it is a vacation for your children, and they probably work hard to get and keep good grades while they are school. They might not like getting up early to catch the school bus or walk to school in time for the first class. They might not like going to bed at a specified time either. So, while they are on summer or holiday break, you might be able to cut some slack about their regular bedtime schedule and when they usually get up in the morning.
You and your kids might enjoy the more relaxed environment. Keep in mind, though, to try to reset the schedule, gradually, before school begins again.
First and foremost, it is vital to make certain all of you have an enjoyable, exciting and relaxing school break, and remain safe!
Allen, Jody. (2019). 100 Fun Activities to Do on School Holidays. Retrieved from https://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-kids/activities/100-fun-things-to-do-on-school-holidays/
Boyce, Emma. (2015). Why Not Try GeoCaching? Retrieved from https://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-kids/activities/not-try-geocaching/
Green, Emily. (September 21, 2017). School Breaks and Holidays: What’s a Working Mom to Do? Retrieved from https://www.workingmother.com/school-breaks-and-holidays-whats-working-mom-to-do
Jacobs, Robin. (August 26, 2014). Teaching My Child First Aid: 6 Essentials. Retrieved from https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/teaching-my-child-first-aid-6-essentials/
Zulily.com. (2019). Survey: Back-to-School Shopping Stresses Parents Out. Retrieved from https://www.parenting.com/parenting-advice/mom/survey-back-to-school-shopping-stresses-parents-out