Plan, plan, & plan some more
Summer vacation is a huge transition that is often fraught with lots of challenges, but with a little planning can be fun and enjoyable. Remember that during the school year, kids became adjusted to a very predictable schedule both in terms of getting ready for school at home, but also in school, teachers maintain a schedule for all the different activities. Summer vacation can be a difficult adjustment, because the comfort of a predictable schedule may no longer exist.
The solution, plan for the summer like you do during the school year to help reduce the uncertainity and anxiety of summer vacation:
- Have a family calendar and list all the activities that might be happening: summer camps, vacations, people visiting, local activities, and don't forget to include ideas that your child might want to do as well (e.g., swimming, amusement parks, zoo, museums, etc.)
- Set up a schedule like your child had at school. School teachers now post visual schedules (icons, photos, words) on the whiteboard in the front of the classroom. Being very explicit about your daily schedule will help your child feel secure and know what to expect for that day (click here for an example).
- Create checklists for simplier activities like getting up and in the morning and ready for the day or getting ready for bed at night. (click here and here for examples).
Specific activities to consider
- Horseback riding
- Bike riding
- Music (singing, playing, choir)
- Gym / fitness center
- Arts / crafts
- Scouts (Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts)
- Nature Scavenger Hunt
- Star Gazing (identify constellations)
- Backyard dominos, jenga, yahtzee!
- Visit a Farm:
What fun summer activities do you do? Please comment and share your ideas with us!