This is a sponsored post, though all opinions are my own.
I only need one word to describe the school year. Busy. BUSY. Very busy. Three children in three schools. Two with school bus service. One without. By necessity I was in a morning carpool, and several afternoon carpools or the non-bus-riding kid. Busy does not even begin to describe my year.
I’m a work-at-home mom so when I am not driving everyone everywhere under the sun, I am scrambling to get work done. Busy. Once the kids are home, our house is homework central with dropoffs and pickups at sports practices, extracurricular activities, and school events. Busy.
I can almost see the end. The end of the school year that is. During June all three children will finish out the school year. Summer is a welcome relief from the school year. In summer we are not nearly so busy. Two of the kids are on a summer swim team, which means that they are on the same schedule. One is now driving. The thought of an extra driver in the house makes me positively giddy! Summer is our time for catching up on rest, going to a sports camp, swimming on a summer swim team, trying out a new activity, and even doing a bit of schoolwork. Still busy, but not nearly as busy as the school year.
So with the end of the school year in sight, how will you transition to the summer? Kellogg’s and Scholastic have a few ideas for how to make the summer rock for your family.
- There are many enriching activities for kids beyond their days at school.
- You can help nurture your child’s strengths and build his skills. We like visiting the zoo, an art gallery, and the beach.
- Ask your kids about their dreams — both long- and short-term.
- What do they imagine for themselves?
- Help them figure out some steps they can take to achieve their goals.
- Have your teens babysit for your younger kids while you work or do stuff around the house.
- Vacation plans? Ask your kids where they want to go on vacation. Have them do some research. My teen will shop for crafts to surprise the younger cousins on the family beach trip.
- Help your children stay focused on their goals no matter what obstacles confront them.
- Encourage them not to give up.
- Persistence pays off, but kids need to believe in themselves in order to keep at it. I remember one summer when my youngest really wanted to swing by himself instead of being pushed. He tried and tried and was so surprised when he was able to swing without my help.
Engage your children in creative activities. Every summer, I buy new crafts and sort through the craft bin.
- Help them look at things in new ways. Invite your child to discuss his or her interests and favorite things to do. Last year, my son and daughter took tennis lessons.
- Take time outside with your children to breathe fresh air, take a stroll, and enjoy nature. We have nightly soccer games.
- Time spent outside can provide an opportunity for reflection and inspiration. My kids love lying in the hammock gazing at the stars.
Here are some ideas for fun activities to get the kids outdoors, and you too!
- Backyard obstacle course
- Neighborhood dog parade
- Nature scavenger hunt. You can pick up a bug net and bug catcher at your local store. Buy one of each for your kids. Less arguing!
- Build a backyard teepee or set up a tent for a backyard sleepover. No need to drive to a campsite when you can sleep in your yard.
- Do arts and Crafts: paper plate sundial, marshmallow and toothpick buildings, hand and foot print flowers, sidewalk chalk drawing, and so many more.
By planning activities for the downtime BEFORE summer begins, you can minimize the “I’m bored” and “I have NOTHING to do” cries from kids. Oh boy, do I hate when my kids get whiny. Every spring I go through the craft bins and sort them. By summer, all the kids need to do is pull out a bin and get crafty! Visit Scholastic.com/PCBigDay for more ideas to make your summer fun!