There are few things as exciting for kids as their first few days of summer vacation! That said, a successful summer requires some preparation; the change of schedule is an adjustment of routine for everyone in your household. You’ll want to make sure the youngest members have plenty to keep them happily busy while they enjoy their respite from school. Here are some suggestions for a relaxing yet productive summer break.
Prevent the Summer Slide
While summer means kids are free from the structure of formal education, they can still engage in learning. The “summer slide” is a well-studied theory – kids lose some of the educational progress they make during the school year over the summer. Reading is one of the best ways to prevent the slide, along with puzzles or games that keep math skills sharp. Just be sure to keep it a fun, positive experience and avoid burn-out.
Use Boredom to Your Advantage
Boredom can be one of the best ways to drum up creativity from a child. The key is providing them with the tools to take advantage of that creativity: enough blankets for a play fort, lemonade powder and a card table so they can start their own lemonade empire or varied and plentiful arts and crafts supplies that encourage learning a new skill such as knitting, calligraphy or drawing and painting. If your child is outgrowing their bedroom and a makeover to a bit more grown-up style is in order, it can be a perfect summer project. Involve your youngster in all aspects of design of this DIY project, and it’s a great opportunity to gain practical skills.
Utilize Outdoor Spaces
Just about anything you wish to do can be taken outside in the summertime, especially if you have outdoor living space. Grilling and dining on the deck or patio, sports, and traditional games like tag and hide-and-go-seek all necessitate the use of outdoor areas, but quiet pursuits such as reading, drawing, even meditation and napping, can move outdoors, too. Utilize the cooler times of day – early mornings and the evenings – and include the kids in your activities. Morning yoga, gardening and landscaping, even backyard camping enhance your child’s knowledge base.
Cut Down on Clutter
Summer should be a time of more freedom and relaxation – and one way to live a more relaxed life is to de-clutter your space. Whether you’ve simply filled your garage with too many pool toys and sports equipment, or your bedroom closets are overflowing, an oversaturation of stuff can take away from that low-key summertime energy. This is another family-friendly project that allows everyone to contribute.
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