Create a Summer Routine for Your Kids
Parents and kids alike are probably quite happy when school comes to an end. No more packing lunches. No more double-checking to make sure homework is done or searching for library books that need to be returned.
After a few days, though, things can get a little chaotic if you don’t have a routine in place. You can end up with kids that are bored. Snacks that are disappearing quicker than you can buy them. And cranky children who are staying up too late.
So why not set yourself up for success this summer and create a summer routine? It doesn’t have to be a “set in stone” routine, but it can provide you with a guide each day.
Here are some suggestions to help make creating one a little easier.
- Talk with other parents to see what they do: Reach out to other parents and ask them what their summer routine looks like. While their schedule may not translate perfectly to your family, it can give you some ideas that might work.
- Create a list of fun summer activities that everyone wants to do: Yes, you want the summer to be fun – for everyone – including you! Ask everyone in your family to add ideas to a list of fun activities they’d like to do this summer. Then work to do them! (A helpful rule may be to say that no one can complain during another person’s chosen activity. That way, if you’d like to take your kids to a museum – they can’t roll their eyes.)
- Make a list of things that need to get done each day: There are always chores around your home that need to get done each and every day – so make sure everyone knows what they are. Include them in your schedule. If Wednesdays are laundry day, children can contribute by gathering dirty clothes in the morning. Contributing to household chores is good for everyone.
- Keep things in order but not set to a clock: Your summer routine does not need to be planned down to the minute – after all, it’s summer. But you may want to keep things in a certain order each day – especially if you have young children. This allows them to know what to expect next.
- Plan for “I’m bored”: Ah, those two words that most parents hate to hear – but it’s not so bad if you’re prepared. You can create a list of “boredom busters” that kids can do on their own when you hear those words. Or keep a list of chores that are appropriate for their age. And, if worst comes to worst, ignore those words and let them figure out how to get “unbored.”
- Allow for quiet time: Whether it be nap time for younger children or quiet time for older ones, allow for it every day.
- Include healthy snacks in your schedule: If you feel like you’re constantly having to buy snacks for your kids, it may be helpful to set specific snack times – and limit what snacks kids have available. If you want your children to learn about snacking when you’re hungry versus snacking when you’re bored, then leave a bowl of fruit on the table that’s available to them whenever they feel they’re hungry.
- Keep a bedtime routine: There’s nothing worse than grumpy kids – and often, it’s because they’re overtired. Try to stick to a bedtime routine to prevent the meltdowns that can happen after a late night.
If you’re thinking of setting up a summer routine for you and your kids this summer, using these tips can definitely help! But, as with any routine, it’s essential to stay flexible and have patience. When you do those things, it can be a great summer for everyone.