While summer break is an exciting time for kids, many parents dread it
and worry about how they can keep their kids busy, entertained, happy
and away from the addictive devices that surround them.
Kids see summer time for leisure and fun, which tends to end up unstructured,
boring and with screen time wars. Having no school should not mean your
kids shouldn’t have a schedule. Creating structure for your kids
during summer vacation will help balance the down time with responsibility.
When developing your summer schedule it’s helpful to schedule in
a unit of time for household responsibilities, reading and work time,
and exercise/activity. Check out some ideas below.
Instead of assigning tasks, ask your child what they would like to do
to contribute to the house and family. When they get to put forth their
ideas and effort they are more likely to stick to it. Be creative, maybe
they can help out with watering plants and/ or be a department lead in
charge of making sure a specified area of the house is clean and tidy.
Working together and being creative can help those household responsibilities
more approachable while teaching kids the value and importance of work.
Every year teacher reminds parents and students to practice math facts
and keep reading. It is not uncommon for children to regress in their
academics from the end of one year to the start of another. Scheduling
in time to do this during weekdays not only helps maintain what kids have
learned in school but helps keep them in the routine so transitioning
back to school will be less of a struggle.
Home can be a comfortable place to be on the relaxed days of summer. While
home relaxation time is needed, it has a tendency to turn into bored days
of eating and screen time. Intentionally work in exercise and activity
into the daily schedule to keep the guess work out of what to do next.
Contact local programs such as the
museum, and art centers (such as
AVA) for upcoming programs and volunteer opportunities.
Parks and city swimming
pools are always a win to get in some exercise and socializing.
Remember to keep the screen time down to no more than two hours per day.
The long unstructured days of summer can be confusing, chaotic and boring.
Developing a schedule that has a mix of unstructured leisure time and
planned activities will help keep our kiddos on track behaviorally and
emotionally and ready to take on the responsibilities of school next fall.
Karissa Morris is a Provisional Professional Counselor (PPC) in the Campbell County Medical Group
Kid Clinic. The Kid Clinic is a school-based pediatric clinic in Gillette, Wyoming.
The medical clinic serves children ages 2 weeks to 18 years old; and counseling
services for children 4 years old to 21 years old. It is located at 800
Butler Spaeth Rd., across from St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in
Gillette, Wyoming. The Kid Clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm.
For more information, call 307-688-8700 or visit
www.cchwyo.org/kidclinic. The Kid Clinic is a collaborative effort between Campbell County Health and
Campbell County School District.