How to Survive the Summer When Your Kids are Home
We all know how challenging it can be when the children are home for the summer. Some teachers are out of school and their children are also out from daycare or preschool. You may feel like they are taking over your entire life. You’re right! At school, your child has friends, toys, outdoor play equipment, and typically multiple adults to help redirect your child’s seemingly endless energy.
You may be ready to pull your hair out trying to keep your child entertained. We have a few helpful tips to help you survive the summer with your darling child.
Implement a Daily Summer Schedule
Children thrive when provided a consistent, predictable schedule. That is how your childcare or daycare provider manages classrooms with many energetic children in the same room. They break the day up into predictable blocks to redirect that energy into a productive activity. You can even talk with your child’s daycare or preschool to get an example of the schedule they use so you can mimic it. After all, keeping a familiar schedule can help your child adjust easily between home and daycare or preschool.
Find Activities to Get Out of the House
Children love to help. Involve them in your daily chores. Set them up to help you fold laundry or clean the house. Include the chores in your daily schedule so your child knows to expect it. You can also find activities at your local library, park, town pool or movie theater that are free or low cost.
Get them Some Fresh Air and Exercise
In our household, we start EVERY day off with a walk around the block. Every family member attends, even dad when he can. It’s a great team building exercise and our block is pretty small so it only takes about eight minutes. The little ones look forward to it every day and they are so adorable about it.
I also try to take them to the park or some sort of outing. Since I am very busy, I don’t always get to this, but I try to make sure I spend some time outdoors with the kids. This time outdoors is an important part of their schedule, whether they are at school or at home with me. It is a chance for the kids to explore, learn, and exercise, which is why preschools require some outdoor time every day.
Of course, no one schedule will fit every family. Tailor your activities and schedule to fit your family needs.
Set Clear Boundaries
If you must work from home, be sure you have a defined space for work that has a real border, like a wall or a room divider (or even a sheet if you are on a budget). Clearly, firmly and directly tell your kids that when you work it’s a time they must let you work. Try to break up your workday. You can even set a timer to give your children a clear way to identify when you will be working and when you will be free to play. Then give lots of praise when they behave well when you are working.
Open the Snuggle Factory
My children call it the Snuggle Factory. Enjoy your children now for the time you do get to spend with them. Snuggle, laugh and enjoy the crazy things they say. They will never be this little again.
Written by a Montessori Mom
Cedar Rapids Iowa