As summer approaches and more things open up as COVID19 restrictions ease, many parents are anxious about what activities and outings they can do safely with their children. Rather than thinking of summer as a stressful time, planning ahead can make summer an enjoyable time to connect as a family.  Before summer starts, sit down with your family and create a plan. Identify a list of things to do that are affordable or even FREE that everyone is interested in doing. You can use the list to help guide you and set your plans in motion.

 

Here are some additional tips to help you keep your children engaged, active and having fun all summer long!

 

  1. Have a daily schedule
  • Wake up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time every night (children behave better when they know what to expect every day).
  • Eat meals at regular times.

 

  1. Involve children in everyday tasks and offer rewards for completing the tasks
  • Have children grocery shop with you and if they can be good helpers in the store, reward them with the option of buying an item of their choice (fruit, candy, etc.).
  • Children can earn more play time or TV time in the afternoon if they help clean up their toys from earlier in the day.

 

  1. Have relaxation/quiet time daily (for your own sanity and theirs too!)
  • For an hour in the afternoon, have everyone read a book of their choice, color or paint, or watch a movie.

 

  1. Get out of the house
  • Local libraries and parks are free!
  • Take a walk every day to get some fresh air or go on a hike. Turn it into a game, such as counting the different types of trees and flowers, seeing who can pick up the most sticks, or building a fort out of items found in nature.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt. Have everyone pick up items that begin with each letter of their first or last name.
  • Go to the beach.

 

  1. Explore educational websites
  • Let them practice their learning skills on a regular basis

 

  1. Teach them new skills
  • Have them join you in the kitchen and teach them skills such as how to measure properly or how to be safe in the kitchen.
  • Try a new recipe together or teach them an old favorite of yours.

 

  1. Allow children to choose their activities
  • Have a list of parent-approved activities, such as going to the park, walking, coloring, movie night, reading, swimming, etc.
  • Give each of your children a chance every week to choose a family activity, or place a variety of activities in a bowl to choose from to add excitement.

 

  1. Plant a family garden
  • The freedom of the summer months is a great time to teach your children how to plant! You can keep a plant indoors or begin a family garden of flowers or vegetable outside. They can water it every day and watch them grow.

 

  1. Try a YouTube “How-to” Video
  • Though it’s great to minimize screen time as much as possible, YouTube is a great asset for kid-friendly “How To” or “DIY” projects and crafts. From making your own slime, to building your own soda machine, the options are limitless.  There are videos for all ages which can encourage the whole family to get involved in a cool project.

 

  1. Lastly, enjoy this time with your family. Summer is a special time where we are all able to reconnect with one another. Have fun!

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