The official start of the summer is just around the corner. The unfortunate part is that it is anyone’s guess what Pandemic Summer is going to be like. Whatever summer has on tap for us, it is still a good time to get organized for the warmer months ahead.
The biggest uncertainty and disappointment for us right now is the unknown status of some camps, and the cancellation of others. As a family with two working parents we have relied on summer camps as a great option for childcare, but also a great way to keep The Mayor (my son’s nickname) active. For the past few years he has done Soccer day camps and overnight camps, and also outdoor adventure camps. Either way it looks like we will have lots of time to fill this summer.
Make a Reading List
Since school is still in session, it’s a good time to enlist the help of a teacher to put together a reading list of age appropriate books. If it is not something your child’s school offers, you can always start a summer reading group with some school friends. Another idea is to do a reading challenge and add some healthy competition.
Get Contact Information for Friends
It is also the time to make sure that kids are sharing contact information so they can keep in touch over the summer. Throughout the stay-at-home period we have encouraged communication with friends, be it facetime, text or phone calls. Once school is out this info is a little harder to get.
Gather Craft/Activity Ideas
I am sure you can agree that the screen time battle will never be over. The only thing we can do is try to come up with ideas to keep them busy that don’t involve screens. Head on over to Pinterest, or do a quick online search for some craft ideas. Make a list, and gather materials if you don’t have them already. You may be surprised at what you can find in your area. I recently heard about a craft business that is making craft kits that they will deliver…genius!
Being active is great for the whole family, so have some fun with it. Set up a fitness challenge, make an obstacle course in your yard…or family room if you have little littles. If your kids are a little older you can have them come up with the challenge then you can take a few minutes away from your schedule (or work day) to go be active with them.
Make a Schedule
Keeping some structure will benefit not just you, but your kids as well. By setting up a daily schedule you take the guesswork out of what the day is going to look like. If you are working from home it will also help you to be more productive. If you have to start work at a certain time, get everyone up and dressed before you start, this will prevent the early morning interruptions while you are trying to start your work day. And by scheduling lunch into your day you can look forward to taking a break and having lunch together. Don’t forget the free time…boredom is good, so let them have some time to be bored.
Don’t Forget the Chores
With all of us spending more time at home these days it is important that everyone understands their responsibilities to the home. Assigning chores is one way to do this. Make a list of chores that need to be done every day, and then add in chores that need to be done on certain days. Enlist some technology to make it more fun. We love an app called Rooster Money. The free version allows you to virtually track allowance and savings. The paid version takes it to the next level by allowing you to schedule chores, set an allowance automatically, and even add extra tasks they can do to earn more money. You can also go the old school route and leave a list on the counter each day so they can check off what they have gotten done.
The next few weeks will continue to map out what our summer is going to look like, so the challenges that we are going to face are relatively unknown at this point. A little planning right now can really offer a huge payout once school is out.