Summer is right around the corner, and for most moms, this can be an overwhelming time. Sign-ups for summer camp and swim lessons are on the budget-conscious mom’s mind and so is the need for family fun! Try these action steps to help everyone transition to a stress-free summer.
1. Calendar. Hang a calendar in a prominent place in the kitchen and have your child make an X at the end of each day. Kids love to see the countdown to summer, and it will help moms mentally prepare too.
2. Family Meeting. Now is a good time to sit down with your kids and discuss summer plans. Family vacation? Once a week beach day? An activity or team they want to join? Kids need something to look forward to, and when everyone is on the same page, it makes for a smoother transition.
3. Stock Up. Make sure your child’s closet is stocked with plenty of shorts and t-shirts. A new swimsuit, if needed, is good to have on hand and so is a beach towel and a pair of flip-flops. Make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit, as well as an adequate supply of bug repellent and sunscreen.
4. Friends. The hardest thing about summer for kids is taking a break from their friends, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Make sure to exchange phone numbers with the parents before the school year is out, and plan times to meet over the summer months.
5. Routine. As much as we’d like to think we’re going to keep the same schedule, it’s best to let that one slide. Let’s face it, summer is a whole lot different from the school year, so why try to keep the same pace? Some routine, like meals and sleeping habits, are good to maintain but, otherwise, enjoy the kickback days of summer.
6. Meals. Speaking of meals, summer is a good time to change things up. Get your kids involved with the planning. Pizza and ice cream on Tuesdays? Hamburgers on Thursdays? Why not! Add several picnics at local parks or interesting sights, and you’re sure to have a relaxed summer!
7. Books. Keep your kids’ minds in gear over the summer, and schedule visits to your local library to get a stack of books to read. Have a goal and give rewards, such as a movie or a trip to the local museum. (Remember, audiobooks and comic books count as reading too!) Summer is also a good time to hire a tutor if your child needs help with school.
8. Creativity. There will definitely be times when your kids are bored, so make sure you leave wiggle room in your summer to be creative. These are a few ideas: bake cookies, make an obstacle course in the backyard, go on a nature walk, paint a picture, plant a garden, or keep a journal (like this DIY journal!).
9. Community. Consider doing a few community service projects with your kids this summer, such as organizing a food drive in your neighborhood, hosting a garage sale or lemonade stand then donating the proceeds to your favorite charity, creating care packages for the homeless, picking up litter at your local beach or park, making cards for soldiers, or visiting the elderly.
10. You. With everyone home for the summer, make sure you take time for YOU! A hot bath, a trip to the nail salon, or an afternoon with a friend will rejuvenate you and keep the stress away. Take a few moments every day for some deep breaths and remember to capture every moment. Summer will be over before you know it!
Sherry Kyle has written several books for tween girls, along with women’s fiction. Her award-winning book for tween girls, The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style, was awarded the God Mom’s Choice Award. Her second nonfiction book for girls, The Girl’s Guide to Your Dream Room, was nominated for the Christian Retailers Best Awards. Most recently, Sherry is the author of Love, Lexi, a unique fictional story combined with a devotional and journal to allow readers to learn to seek God first above all else.
For additional tips on how to maximize summer fun while cutting down on stress, check out these suggestions from Tyndale Kids author Kathryn O’Brien!