I know you were so excited that your little one or little ones were coming home for summer break. But after a day or two, reality hits you that you need some kind of plan. Because while you love your little ones, you know they need structure. Tiny kids don’t know better than just to be kids. I often wonder where they get so much energy. If you have little school-age ones at home, here are a few things you might want to try. These are only suggestions and things that I find helpful (or working one because I certainly don’t have it figured out).
- Make a schedule/routine – I know what you are thinking. It’s summer! Why do I need a schedule or some kind of routine? Well, it’s not mandatory, it’s only a suggestion. At first, I had the same thought. I was about to throw schedules and routines out the door for the summer. However, after a day or two at home leading up to summer break, I knew I would need to create something. We have a Kindergartner on break with two small ones (not in school). The schedule or routine does not have to be anything rigid. Because after the hectic morning and evenings to and from school, who wants to have a rigid summer schedule? No one. Having some direction and order in which you’d like to carry out your day will help you and the kids. It will create less of a need to wander what to do to keep them occupied when they get bored. Again, all you need is just something as a guide. Not sure how it will play out yet but I am attempting:))
- Make a chore chart – If your kids are at the age where they could do chores, it might be helpful to create a simple chore chart for them. One or two chores such as helping cleaning up toys or helping to wet the plants is all they might need. It will help keep them occupied and build some character.
- Create a list of summer activities – If you are wondering how else you are going to keep the kids occupied, consider creating a list of summer activities. I created this one a while ago (no kid was in school) but it gave me some ideas. It could be use for all kids (big and small). Download it here: 50 Summer Activities to For Parents and Kids
- Schedule Naptime/Quiet time – I know it – it may be tempting to keep them going all day. Eventually, both you and them will get burnt-out. If you are not out all day and your kids are home, plan to let them have their nap and rest time. If they don’t nap anymore, quiet time is not a bad idea. A bin with quiet activities for preschoolers and a bit older (Kindergarten-ish) would be helpful. You may even consider creating a few bins for them to choose from daily.
- Don’t over-do – Although it’s helpful to have some activities for the kids, summer is more of a relaxing time. It’s fun to do loads of activities but it is also great to have less hectic days too. So don’t stress and try not to over-schedule too many activities where it ends up being more tiring rather than fun. You don’t have to plan activities for all day every day. If you’ve got nothing, home is always still a favorite place to be. There’s nothing wrong with just hanging around the house and having some downtime.
Now for your thoughts. Do you plan to throw lists and schedules out the door while your kids are on summer break? Or do you find them helpful for little kids? What are your tips for keeping the littles busy while still creating some order? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.