For many of us, the start of summer signals the end of school. Uh oh! What now? Like nails on a chalk board we hear, “What are we doing today? I’m booored!” Grrrr! But it does not have to be that way. Here are a few tips for preparing for summer vacation.
1. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! If you do not plan ahead of time, you will end up not doing a thing. You can choose to plan weekly or monthly. If you decide to plan weekly, spend time each Sunday mapping out your week. If you plan monthly, organize everything at the beginning of the month. Plan your summer camps and other activities. Make sure to have the dates in order and non are over lapping.
2. Buy a dry erase calendar. Use different colored markers for each family member. This will help you map out your activities. For younger children, review the calendar each day, so they know what to expect. If they know what to expect, it will cut down on the “What are we doing today?” questions.
3. Buy arts and crafts in bulk. Do not buy for a specific project, but rather for making art. This will make it last longer and keep the kids interested. Organize everything into bins or shoe boxes. Some items that you should purchase include heavy construction paper, buttons, glitter, glue, scissors, stickers, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, stamps, feathers, paint, and smocks. You want to be able to allow your children to, at times, work independently with these crafts.
4. Make a chore chart. No matter how young your children are they can definitely help around the house. To keep them interested give them different chores each day. This is all about keeping them active members of the family. Summer tends to turn our children into vacation zombies.
5. Limit television and video games. A great way to do this is to have a coin system. Use gold coins, that you can find at a party store, and give each coin a time limit. For example: My son’s coins each are worth 15 minutes. When he gives me a coin that gives him 15 minutes of television or video games. He will get 6 coins per day. So it is up to him when and how he uses them. Once he hands me the last coin he is done for the day.
6. If you have a child who naps and one who does not plan your outside time accordingly. Make sure it is marked on the calendar so your children do not continuously ask you when they can go outside.
7. If you are ambitious, plan one huge project that the children can work on every day. Some examples are:
Mural for their bedroom
Ant farm: Draw charts of what they eat, write creative stories, draw pictures
Plant a garden
Cooking one meal a day and creating a family recipe book
What have you done to prepare for the summer?
- Keeping a Chore Chart for Your Kids (housekeeping.answers.com)