Here is your opportunity to get a strong 4-step summer strategy for the kids because…
Parents, you need a plan.
It’s only 10 am.
However, my children have managed to spread every single toy I’ve purchased in the past 3 years on the living room floor. Tell the kids to play outside, you say? Well, you are probably lucky enough to have an outdoor space for them to play in.
My family lives in an apartment, which is quite the norm where I live. Although our building has a “community” space for the kids to play in, my upbringing will not allow them to venture out alone. You see, coming from a big city in the U.S. (along with some cultural norms) I maintain the philosophy “If I can’t see you, you’ve gone too far.”
If my husband and I are inside of the apartment, then so are my children.
Unless we have a plan.
Summer Strategy #1: Just Relax
First, just let go of the notion that your home will be clean and tidy this summer. Your children are at home. This was a difficult one for me.
Summer Strategy#2: Create a Schedule
One more time.
Create a schedule.
Do this for your own peace of mind. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I find days tend to go smoother with a schedule. Kids also tend to “act” a bit better when they have one. They know what to expect, and hopefully, it will give them something to look forward to. For example, several afternoons of the week my children know that we will go to the beach. This means swimsuits, sand toys, and ice cream!
So you can bet, they are doing their best to behave like little angels all morning.
Another day of the week we schedule a museum visit. This is a great idea for those days that are just too darn hot to be frolicking about outdoors. It is also a good plan because it adds a bit of learning to their summer days. Children need constant stimulation. Museum visits can offer them imagination on a highly structured level. For example, Stockholm (where we live) has a plethora of kid-friendly museums. The majority of them are extremely mindful of offering age-appropriate installations or themes with complementary activities. However, this also takes a bit of planning due to the current situation with Covid -19 (booking visits in advance, etc.).
Summer Strategy #3 : Have Projects
Build a Lego neighborhood.
Heck, build a Lego city.
Do something, as long as it takes a while.
Like days. Or weeks.
Start a garden.
Maybe those tomatoes or blueberries won’t be harvested for months, but who cares? It’s the process that matters.
This is my favorite one: Make vision boards!
What is a vision board?
Vision boards are great for kids because it gets them into the habit of setting personal goals. Here is a free worksheet to help them get started!
You may also learn some things you never knew about your own children! I just recently discovered that my 4-year-old daughter wants to do ballet AND play soccer (nice to hear something else than wanting to be a princess)!
Making vision boards is your perfect opportunity to get rid of all of those old magazines and using up those leftover art supplies taking up space in the closet.
Oh yeah, it’s also good for their creativity.
Summer Strategy #4: (Refer back to #1)
Relax. Allow everyone a LOT of grace.
Because at the end of the day, children just want to have fun.
So their occasional running around, screaming, or use of the iPad is just fine.
Put your headphones on, turn on a podcast, and just relax because now you have your strong 4-step summer strategy in place.
(And I’ll let you know how it goes for me as well.)