Every day brings us yet another day closer to the start of summer break. The kids are already more than excited to think about having the whole summer out of school, but parents might not be feeling quite so prepared for the season. So what can you do to make sure that you go into summer break well prepared for whatever may come your way?
Here are a few things that you can do now to get ready for summer break
Put Together Family Rules for Summer
The number one thing on your summer pre-gaming to-do list should be to come up with your summer rules. Make a clear list of what chores need to be accomplished daily or weekly, how much screen time is allowed, and what changes there are in regard to bedtimes. Making summer rules a little more lax than within the school year is great, but there definitely should be some boundaries set before the “But it’s summer vacation!” excuses start to fly.
Stock Up on Books and Craft Supplies
Make sure there are plenty of new books to read and craft supplies for kids to use when they’re feeling creative. Remember those screen time limits you set in your summer rules? If you want to be sure to be able to stick with those, having plenty of options available will help avoid the dreaded cries of “I’m bored!”
Create a “Boredom Jar”
Even if you have loads of things to do around the house, eventually someone is going to claim boredom. Get ahead of the game and create a boredom jar of activities that they can do when their imagination has run out of steam. You can also create a chore jar that they can pull from, just in case they decide they should complain about the activity they’ve drawn.
Finalize Vacation Plans
Make sure that your travel plans for the season are in order and all reservations are made. Whether you’re planning to go away for weeks or just a long weekend, making sure that accommodations, travel, transfers, and other important details are taken care of in advance will make it easy once it’s time to head out the door.
Sign Up Early for Camps and Classes
Summer camps and classes often fill up very quickly. If you’re looking to sign your kids up, whether as a childcare alternative or just for fun, be sure to get their name on the list as soon as possible to secure their spot. In some cases, there may even be a discount for early registration or payment.
Clean and Organize Play Areas
Even if you just did a purge during your spring cleaning, revisit the kids’ room or playroom while they are out of the house and at school. Make sure that toys are organized and all components are together. Toss broken toys or things that can’t be played with properly due to missing pieces. Create fun stations for crafts, reading, or board games. When kids can easily find what they want, they’re far more likely to pester you to help them find something to do.
Create Simple Plans for Snacks and Meals
Summer vacation means that often you’ll be eating 3 meals a day plus snacks at home. If your kiddos are not yet of an age that they can fend for themselves in the kitchen, that’s a lot of food prep. Look for some simple recipes that you can cook and freeze to reheat for lunches and dinners, then cut your time in the kitchen down by prepping several meals at once. Have plenty of ready to eat snacks on hand, as well.
Whether you’re as excited as the kids for summer vacation to arrive or you’re dreading the invasion of your quiet afternoons, with a little time spent getting ready for summer break, your summer will be off to a great start.