Picture of a schedule

As we prepare to enter summer a bit early this year, with many summer camps being closed until later in the summer, the beginning of summer may look a bit different for some families this year. Read below for a few tips about how to start your child’s summer (and yours) off in a positive way.

-Have your children help you create a schedule. Include time every day for brain challenges, outdoor play, reading, and if your family agrees, even a bit of screen time. If your children are involved in creating the schedule, they will be more likely to follow it, and they may even look forward to it!

-Include visuals on your summer schedule. While children can read the words on the schedule, no matter what their age, their brains will process the information even better when a picture is attached. Children can use stickers, magazine cut outs, draw, or even use printed pictures of themselves doing the activities. Creating the schedule can be an activity all its own on the first day of summer.

-Include quiet time every day. Set aside a time when your child spends time alone, and designate a space where they will spend that time. This is not a punishment of any kind, but rather, an opportunity for them to rest and recharge.

– Be clear about YOUR schedule. Many parents will still be working from home, and children may need to understand when parents are and are not available. Talk with children ahead of time about when you’ll be available to spend time with them, and what they can do when you are not available.

– Be flexible! As much as a schedule provides a great tool for a successful summer, there are days when the schedule just will not work. Be okay with that, and know that one day off the schedule does not mean you have to throw the whole thing out the window. Jump right back in the next day!