So, what will your children do this summer? Are you, like me, working out the balance between plenty of summer activities/but not too much/VBS/day camp/structure/schedule/no schedule/routine/no routine/not allowing their brains to completely disavow all knowledge they have learned over the school year?
The first step is the hardest. Get through the first couple of weeks with these start-of-summer tips, and you’ll be ready for the rest of the hot weather in no time.
19 Ideas for the First Few Weeks of Summer
To keep the young brains engaged:
1. Keep a handful of leftover school papers and homework for summer review.
2. Make a list of books to read in June, July, and August. Read books aloud to your child that are above their grade level and challenge them with chapter books a little longer than what they hav read. Take turns reading chapters and talking about the story together. If your child is a pre-reader, or is just beginning to read, stock up on Dr. Seuss and simple readers from your library and do lots of reading and rereading each day.
3. Find simple, write-in activity books for your child’s grade level. These often contain math, reading, and writing skill practice; fun mazes and puzzles, and drawing activities. Use them for long summer days, rainy days, and road trips.
4. Go on an educational nature hike.
5. Have your child practice counting and making change with cash when purchasing summer treats like snow cones and ice cream.
6. Stock up on sidewalk chalk. Work on writing, drawing, and spelling. Toss in a few math facts on the driveway here and there.
Chores (and other fun):
7. Give your child the opportunity to earn money by coming up with over-and-above jobs they can do at home.
8. Make this homemade sprinkler with your children. Easiest, cheapest DIY ever. Takes about five to ten minutes. Lasts all summer. This year, I think I’ll hang ours from the deck.
9. Sort out papers from the school year (20 or so), keep the cool stories your children wrote and artwork they are proud of and any papers where your children traced their handprints. Put those in a book or binder or journal.
10. Let your child scrapbook the school year with some of their other papers and photos and art.
11. For young children, make sure you’ve taught them these chores around the house.
Enjoy the change of routine:
12. Take in one of the movies as part of the 2016 Malco Summer Film Fest. ($2.00 movie tickets, people). So cool of them to do this for kids and families.
** note: Malco Theaters only operates in certain states. Check your local/regional movie theater for summer movie events for children and families. Here are a couple to get you started:
13. Teach your children how to prepare a simple breakfast when you’re not having to rush out the door for school. Designate a day of the week for them to take on this responsibility. Could be as simple as warming up pancakes, or something a little more challenging: scrambled eggs, maybe? My 10-year old is now scrambling the eggs. And I’m lovin’ it!
14. Ride bikes somewhere you might normally take a car. This is a good time to brush up on bike rules and safety.
15. Get your children to a pool for swimming practice before they take swimming lessons or go to camp or vacation.
16. Make sure you’re saving household materials for fun activities over the summer.
17. Check out a couple of child-friendly science project books from the library and have your children pick out their favorites so you can start collecting materials.
18. Make a bucket list together of things you and your children would like to do over the summer.
19. Or, you can always do this to establish that children will be outside some. On their own. Without you. From Nick Mom/Nancy Davis Kho – Something to look forward to. (And it’s so great because the headline suggests it might be a serious post, which you think you need, and then it’s not. It’s better.) 6 Creative Ways to Get Kids Outdoors This Summer
Summer on, parents.