Before the end of each school year, my son always counts down the days until summer. He gets so excited for the days filled with fun in the sun and no homework! For some kids the transition to summer break means leaving behind their teachers and friends, which can create feelings of anxiety and sadness. Here are some tips to help make the move from school to summer smoother:
Make a summer bucket it list:
Having activities to do in the summer will structure time and make it less boring. If your budget allows and your kids enjoy it, then summer camps are great summer adventures. However, children and adolescents do not have to attend summer camps to stay busy. I recommend that you work with your children and teens to create a flexible schedule of events that are fun and are educational. For example, visiting the library, going to the zoo, going for a nature hike, trying out a new recipe together, going to the beach, helping with community volunteering event, etc. Check the local newspaper or the internet (Pinterest is my personal muse) for ideas of activities you can do together as a family. Put your events on a calendar so your child/teen can have a visual reminder of the fun, structured activities you have planned together.
Maintain schedule as much as possible:
It can be tempting to let the kids stay up late at night (especially on weekends), but it's helpful for kids’ bodies to stay on their current sleep-wake schedule as much as possible. Plus, once back to school time comes (yuck!), it will be much easier to transition into earlier sleeping time. It's also important to stick to daily routines, like getting up at the same time, eating meals at the same times each day, and same bedtime routine each night as much as possible.
Stay in touch:
If possible, it's important for kids to remain social in the summer and maintain friendships with their classmates. Plan events with other parents, play dates, and fun summer activities. This will also help your child feel connected when they enter back to school in the fall.