Preparing Kids for Summer Break

2
Jun
2013


summer-gotoguide-450x90

Welcome to the 30 Days of Summer – Go-To Guide for Moms!

Day Two

The kids around the country are counting the days, or perhaps yours have already broken free from the constraints of school.  It is freedom time for everyone!

How do you get your kids ready for summer break?  You can be intentional or not, but I have found that creating some type of purposeful transition helps everyone, especially mom!

Try some of these suggestions, some come from my 10 Strategies for Your Best Summer Ever Action Guide and some are new ideas.

See if this summer runs a little more smoothly.

Start a summer kick-off calendarsummer-countdown_0001

Remember advent calendars that are used to help children know when Christmas is coming? It’s the same idea here, but you are counting days down until the beginning of SUMMER!  You can also use the same type of calendar during the summer to help children prepare to head back to school when summer is over.  I love these ideas from the Happy Home Fairy – she has a collection of ideas if you are stumped, but this one she made is adorable!  She laminated it and just put a new number in the space each day.

Friends are important

Your child may be apprehensive about leaving their friends and not being able to see them for the entire summer.  It seems that now a days, everyone lives further away from each other, so it takes a lot more work to keep kids connected.  You would think it would be the other way around.

One way to alleviate this stress is to make acquaintances with the parents of your children’s friends. Exchange telephone numbers and plan to meet for play days every so often during the school break.  If your kids are older, middle school aged, consider being the driver to initiate activities or car pool to get the kids together.  Host a get together at your house or have your child host it.

Communicate

Talk to and listen to your child about the various changes that will take place. It is also important to make sure your child knows the changes are temporary. While summer break may seem like a long time, before they know it, they will have to head back to school.  This is where having a family meeting, {which we talk about in the Action Guide helps} and setting up expectations is really important.  When everyone is on the same page, things run smoother and there is less confusion and arguing.

Routine is Key

Rather than throw structure out the window when the last day of school arrives, it is important to maintain it. Some children have difficulties with sudden changes, so it may help them to get up at the same time for the first couple of weeks and then slowly allow them to sleep in. You may also want to plan to eat around the same time your child ate at school. One benefit of maintaining some sense of structure is that it will make getting them ready to go back to school much easier.

It is fun to keep some routine, but also remember that summer is meant to have fun and change things up.

Memories in the Making

Plan a number of activities for the summer so the children have something to look forward too, much the way they would school holidays. Discuss ideas of activities you can do as a family and be sure to get the children’s input.  This is one of the key points of having a family meeting and sharing the ideas your kids come up with in the “Ideas for Summer Fun Worksheets” found in the Action Guide.  This explores your child’s individual interests, which can often be overlooked.

Other activities could be something as simple as crafts day once a week and cook with Mom day or day trips to the local zoo, an amusement park or a day at the beach. The idea is to give your children something to look forward to doing.  The Summer Survival Calendar is a ready made tool that has one activity per day that your child can do and look forward to.  Easy Peasy!

Teacher Round-Up

Before school is out, try to set aside some time to talk with your child’s teacher. Ask them if there are any areas your child is weak and what types of fun activities you can do to help reinforce what they struggled to learn. Remember, however, you want to keep the activities fun so your child doesn’t feel like they are still in school.  The more aware you are of what needs some attention, the better your child will be prepared for the new school year.

Plan a family vacation

Perhaps your family doesn’t usually take long, expensive vacations every year. If you can come up with something specific to do each day during family vacation, it can mean as much, if not more, to your children than a trip to Disney World.  But if you can plan a trip to get away for a couple days, use the opportunity.  It can be camping or even just a night or two at a local hotel which you found a Groupon for.  {You can get more tips on Frugal Get-Aways in my Become a Frugali$ta in 30 Days ebook!} Getting out of your normal groove can change things up for everyone.

Stock Up

Make sure you have a good supply of bug repellant and sun screen if you plan on spending time outdoors. You want to also have a well-stocked first aid kit available for the bumps, bruises and scraped knees that are sure to happen. It may be a good idea to begin teaching your children basic first aid skills.

Mom Time

Finding time for you is important.  For most moms, summer is a real change with having the family home full-time {unless you are a homeschooling family}.  This is often the most stressful issue for moms, finding a break.  We will talk more on this topic during this series, but start brainstorming how you can get a break, find a few minutes during the day and refresh yourself.  Keeping the crabby mom at bay is the goal!

Kick Off

Plan a fun summer kick off tradition for your family.  Perhaps it is a balloon fight after school gets out, or a special outdoor barbecue dinner that first day.  Stuck?  Here are a few places to get ideas!

4 fun traditions

Last day of school

End of school traditions

Summer will be here before you know it. The best way to get your kids ready for summer break is to begin talking to them now and often until break actually starts. You can also use some of these other ideas to help them prepare.

 

Summer Survival Mini Challenge

28
May
2013


Here we are, wrapping things up with the Summer Survival Mini Challenge that Hello Mornings has put together!   If you need to get your summer organized, grab a copy of my  Summer Survival Calendar and join us.  It won’t take long to catch up!

We have this week’s homework tasks for week 3 – finishing up everything and getting ready to kick summer off with a bang!

We are sharing Week Three ideas, if you missed week one, or week two – hop over to review them now!

Listen to internet radio with Susan Heid on BlogTalkRadio

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Summer Survival Mini Challenge

21
May
2013


I’ve decided to continue sharing the great tips and plan that Hello Mornings is sharing with regard to getting on track with summer using my Summer Survival Calendar.  Why mess with a good thing.  I will be sharing their homework tasks for the week and my additional tips in my audio this week.  I hope it helps kick-start you into SUMMER!

We are sharing Week Two ideas, if you missed week one, hop over to review it now!

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A Puzzle a Day

2
May
2013


You’ve probably heard that puzzles are good for your child’s mind and cognitive development; in fact, you may have received puzzles as gifts. Honestly, when you have younger kids, it seems that YOU end up putting the puzzle together or just picking up all the pieces spread out on the floor.  It can seem an ugly, cruel game for busy moms!

But it was important for me to remember why are puzzles considered helpful to a child’s mental development.  My little guy can get quite a bit of time under his belt working with puzzles, if I help get him engaged in the process and encourage him. [Read more…]