Friday, June 24, 2011

Planning for Summer

June is a busy month! I hear all my friends with school-aged kids say that the summer is a nice break after the craziness of June.

With standardized testing happening in many school districts, school fundraisers, graduation (for some), summer birthdays, end-of-year events for cubs/scouts/brownies/guides… well, it’s a lot of work! Then, we get busy planning excursions, registering for camp & booking play dates in the hopes of ensuring our kids are sufficiently stimulated – mentally & physically – during the summer. It’s practically a full-time job!

It can be quite overwhelming and we, as parents, can tend to over-schedule our kids. It’s a very fine balance between planning too many activities and having bored kids. So, in an attempt to save your sanity (!), here are a few tips to help you plan your family’s summer.

Plan activities or outings with other families
If you’re a parent who works outside the home, this can be a great way to allow your kids to get out more often, by trading off child-minding duty with other parents. You may choose to lead an activity on the weekend, while your kids enjoy an outing with friends during the work week.

Let your kids plan one special outing per week
This could be a trip to the water park that your daughter has been talking about or a barbeque at the beach that your son is keen on… whatever it is, make it special by letting each child choose a special outing (alternate weeks between children).

Plan family movie nights and unstructured play days
Movie nights with popcorn and snuggles are the best – and they’re practically free, to boot!! And what's better than letting kids play in the yard or at a park, maybe bringing a picnic or snack, laying down a blanket and gazing up at a cloudy sky. ☺

Don’t underestimate the value of rest and free time
It’s okay to let your kids have some time to “veg” out… that’s what summer is for!

Whatever you choose to do with your family this summer, remember the number one rule – have fun!

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