It's summer! And while families look forward to this time of year and the opportunity perhaps for a bit of a slower pace and more time together, being out of our routine can feel difficult and challenging.
To start your summer off we offer some suggestions to make this transition a little easier and a lot more fun!
- Create a flexible summer schedule: While it's good to have some structure during the summer, allowing for flexibility is key. Design a schedule that includes a balance of planned activities, free time, and family bonding. This can help maintain a sense of routine while still leaving room for spontaneity and relaxation.
- Engage in collaborative project-based learning: Encourage your children to explore their interests by engaging in project-based learning activities together. Choose a topic or theme that interests both you and your child, and work on a project or research it together. This could involve building a birdhouse, creating a family recipe book, or even organizing a mini-science experiment. This not only provides a learning opportunity but also fosters a deeper connection between you and your child.
- Plan weekly family adventures: Dedicate one day each week for a family adventure. It could be a day trip to a nearby attraction, a visit to a museum, a picnic in the park, or exploring a new hiking trail. Involve your children in the planning process by having them research and suggest potential destinations or activities. These adventures create shared memories and allow for quality time spent together.
- Encourage independent play and creativity: While it's important to engage with your children, it's equally important to encourage independent play and creativity. Set aside specific periods during the day where your children can engage in activities on their own. Provide them with materials like art supplies, building blocks, or books to stimulate their imagination. This gives them space to explore their interests while allowing you to focus on other tasks. Later, you can come together to discuss their creations or engage in joint activities.
- Limit screen-time: Set a block of time for your children to be on their screens - try later in the afternoon. Knowing there is a specific time they will be able to be on their screens, you'll find the incessant requests for screentime will diminish, and your kids may be having so much fun by mid-afternoon that they'd rather continue with their other activities!
- Establish regular family rituals: Create special rituals that your family can look forward to and enjoy together. It could be a weekly movie night, a family cooking session, or a game night. These rituals provide a sense of stability, anticipation, and connection during the summer months. Involve your children in the decision-making process, allowing them to choose the movies, recipes, or games for each session.
Remember, every family is unique, so adapt these ideas to suit your specific circumstances and the interests of your children. The key is to maintain a positive attitude, embrace the summer as an opportunity for bonding and connection, and be open to new experiences and adventures together.
Bonus - below are a collection of ideas for summer fun:
- DIY Summer Camp courtesy of Saren Eyre Loosli at Power of Families
- Operation Summer: Keeping Active Kids Engaged courtesy of Nicole Taylor at Power of Families
- The Ultimate Family Summer Bucket List - babyquip.com
- Kid's Cooking Camp with Julie Van Rosendaal (recordings). And sign up here to recieve a link to her next monthly Kitchen Club zoom cooking lesson.