Make the most of the 18 summers you will get with your kids.
The long months of summer are here, it is day one of summer break and chances are you have heard the dreaded 3 words “I am bored” already a number of times followed by the next dreaded 3 words… “I want a snack”!
I get it, it's summertime and suddenly from a very structured-rat-race kind of life, the kids are suddenly dropped into this bubble of nothingness and they don’t know what to do with their time or energy. But unfortunately there is no summer break at work! So whether we like it or not, we still have a lot of work to do and now we have bored kids with unspent energy, bouncing off the walls, demanding snacks!
So what are we supposed to do? Well, here are some ideas that can help you keep your sanity while the kids don’t lose their mind out of boredom!
Setup a routine
I know I am suggesting a routine when you just got off packing lunches every morning.. But I am not suggesting setting up a super strict routine, just something that will give some pace to the never ending days.
We usually name our days like Maker’s Monday, Museum Tuesdays or Water wednesdays. This sets up the theme for the entire day. Next, have a loose routine around the day like outside time after breakfast, followed by shower and lunch and no screen until afternoon.
This is enough to have some semblance to their school life and stops them from rotting in front of their screens.
All play and no work makes kids bored out of their mind
If kids are not doing anything productive throughout the day, by the time evening rolls in they would have lost their mind and gotten into fights at least a gazillion times!
Even if it is as simple as writing one page essays or 5 math problems, utilizing their brain 20 minutes a day can make a huge difference. And after those 20 minutes, they will actually enjoy their leisure time more.
Assign some chores to them, have them clean the dishes, any activity is better than lazing around getting bored.
Start a fun project together
It's a great time to start something elaborate together. Whether it's a lego city that you are building or the quilt that you are working on, kids are so excited to be involved in a project with their parents, they will be more than happy to put all their energy and hours into creating something that you both will cherish.
And the best part, this will keep them busy for hours and teach them some very important life skills.
Create an activity jar
Create an activity jar with all the activities your kids love to do.
For those times when you have run out of ideas or activities to keep them busy, just pull an idea from the activity jar.
The rule is, no matter what comes out of the activity jar, kids can’t say no.
Practice meditation or self care
Whether it's the early morning yoga or a home spa day, teach kids the importance of self care and how relaxing can 5 minutes of meditation be after a hectic afternoon.
What better time to teach them to self regulate when they have hours at their disposal.
Spend evenings outside
Whether it's a trip to a local park or to the grocery store, spend the evenings outside. Summer evenings are long and balmy and this one single routine in the day can be such a refresher.
Kids get to burn all their pent up energy and you get to relax in the fresh air after a long day at work. And the best part, all the sun and running around helps with all the zzzs they need at night!
Pick a sport
Encourage your kids to pick a sport or hone the one they are currently interested in. Playing their favorite sport, getting better at it is such a boost in their confidence. And come fall when you will enroll them in the games, they will be more excited to show off their newly honed skills.
Learn a new hobby
Every summer I encourage my kids to pick a hobby. We visit the local hobby store and I encourage them to pick something new that they can learn during the summer. Not only does it help with the boredom, the souvenirs we create are a reminder of a well spent summer. Over the years we have tried our hands at painting, pottery, sewing, crochet, photography, gardening and enjoyed the long summers learning something fun.
And while you are at it, think about getting a Family Photoshoot.
We only get 18 summers with our kids, why not make the most of them and preserve those memories forever!