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Summer Fun

Summer Fun

Can we get to the beach this summer?

How to regulate it

After school is out, we have time for summer fun. If mom is at home, she doesn’t have to get up as early. Kids can play a lot with friends and and get wet. We have time for swimming, picnics, and even vacations. Kids love it and parents do too for about one week.

Then summer isn’t fun anymore, at least for parents. Kids go through tons of clothes, often getting them wet and leaving them laying around. They eat whatever they want whenever they want. Parents get tired of taking kids places and trying to find ways to entertain them. It seems that older offspring stay up later and later and sleep half the day. We can’t wait for school to start again.

Wait a minute! With children out of school, this is time for home learning.   How about a little scheduling and organization? How do we get kids to help?  How can we regulate summer activities.  Come up with a plan and an incentive program.

What is Important During Summer Time

First, you must decide what activities you would like children to accomplish this summer.  Here are a few goals I wanted for my kids.  I wanted them to continue to brush their teeth and keep good physical hygiene regularly.   I wanted them to pick up and clean up after themselves.  I wanted them to read because reading help learning improve and increases success in all academic areas.  I wanted them to get outside and get lots of exercise.  I wanted them to eat regularly and maintain good nutrition.  Of course, I wanted them to get enough sleep.  Occasional late nights and long sleep ins were acceptable but not all the time.  Your goals may be different.  Decide your priorities.

Next, come up with an incentive plan that makes kids want to do what is on your list. Have a check list for each child with their chores and required activities. Use points or stars or stickers. Children can be working for privileges or money. Each child’s rewards may be different. Offer rewards that the child will appreciate and you, as a parent, feel good about. Parents must be the reminders to help kids do and check off items. It seems hard but in the long run, kids will do more and parents can do a little less. You must be consistent and not give the reward without the effort. There are many kinds of reward systems and they can be as fancy or as complicated as you want. Check Pinterest for ideas.

What if both parents work? You can still make an incentive plan successful. In some ways it will be easier because the kids will have some structure. Children will have to cleanup, brush teeth, and get to bed earlier. If they are in camps or have child care, the burden of other activities will fall on those in charge. Parents should still have some control over lunches so make sure the lunches include fruit, vegetables, and dairy for good nutrition. Be careful and aware your child is getting enough exercise and learning what you want them to learn. I would still encourage some reading time in the evening.

More Activities

Libraries are great. Most libraries have a summer reading program for kids with their own incentive program. Children can read magazines or books you buy or they can checkout books for free. Using a library requires a certain amount of attention as you or kids need to keep books in and safe place and not lose them. A child gains self esteem and satisfaction by reading and keeping track of their books. They also learn to read better and escape into new worlds. There are usually story hours for young children, You can check out a book to enjoy also.

I am a believer in swimming. It is fun and good exercise. Having been a swim teacher, I know that the more children are in the water, the quicker they learn to swim. One week of swim lessons is not enough. Summer is a great time to get kids to the pool at least once a week. If kids are younger, you will need to go with them. If you are not crazy about the water yourself, learn to love it with your kids. Your attitude towards swimming will influence how how your child takes to the water. Children love to play water games with adults and you will get great exercise too.

Speaking of games, summer time is a great time to learn a few new ones. Games are great for development of social skills, mathematical skills, and other skills like reading. They also help increase family closeness. There are many free or inexpensive games. You can play games with inexpensive dollar store cards. Younger children (ages 5-6) will like “Candy land,” or “Chutes and Ladders,” or other easy board games. By age 7 they should have the attention span to play card games or “Sorry.” A parent should play with them while they are learning and they may play with siblings and friends after. Again once a week is a good guideline for family game time. There are a great many active games that can be played in the yard, at the park, or even in the house. Road games could include; “I Spy,” “The Alphabet Game,” or “Twenty Questions,” Here is a link for some new summer and on the road games.

Yes, summer is fun so lets enjoy it. Let’s play games, read and see the world, and have some outdoor activities. Time is short so let’s use it well for summer fun.

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