Summer is almost upon us and that means SUMMER VACATION! I remember how those words were music to my ears. How I would count down the days until I was free from school and could do whatever I wanted. Well those times sure have changed now that I have kids.
Summer vacation can cause a lot of anxiety especially if kids are NOT in camp and you are left with a million hours a day to entertain them! I made the terrible mistake a few summers ago of just ‘winging’ it…I sure learned my lesson! After that summer experience I made a list of essential tips that could make or break anyone’s summer break with kids. So if your kids are going to be around this summer take some time to plan ahead with these simple tips:
- Make a tight schedule
A few weeks before the summer break sit down and make a schedule for pretty much every hour of everyday. You can always move things around later, but when your kids see that they have a great schedule planed out it will make them feel comfortable with the new schedule. It will also give you a game plan to work with so you don’t feel stressed. Don’t forget to schedule some down time, backyard playtime and snack time.
- Buy fun games
Before any long stretch of time that the kids will be off school, I keep my eyes open for small fun toys and games that I can pull out in a time of crisis or when the kids a just bored. You can even go to the dollar store and buy things like water toys, bubble solution, water balloons, scooters etc. Anything that will keep them occupied and happy.
- Make plans with other moms
Don’t take on the whole summer by yourself. Call up some of your mom friends and schedule weekly play dates. This will give the kids time with friends and you some much needed time with other adults.
- Make a list of splash pads/pools
There is nothing more fun then a few hours at the pool or splash pad. Make a list a head of time of all the splash pads in the city and every week visit a new park. I like to go park hopping to keep things interesting. Bring a pick nick lunch and make a day of it.
- Make a list of summer activities
Summer is that time of year where all the outdoor events take place like summer festivals, block parties, outdoor movie nights, and amusement parks. Take advantage of what your city has already planned for you and your family to keep the little ones occupied.
- Meal plan in advance
Before the break take some time and freeze some meals so you’re not scrambling to make dinner every night! There is nothing more stressful then trying to make dinner while kids are fighting
and screaming all around you. Don’t forget about your local pizza joint that will be more then happy to deliver and I hear McDonalds has a pretty great pancake breakfast!
- Bend the rules
Summer is that time of year that everyone can let loose. If you try to stick with a strict schedule like you do during the year, everyone will be miserable. Let the kids stay up late once in a while to watch the fireworks, have too much ice cream and break that schedule from time to time.
Because after all it is summer and kids just want to have some fun!