Be down with down time.  There is so much structure and rushing around during the school year.  Allow summer to include some down time for your children.

Make family time. 
Summer is a great opportunity to create some family time.  Do something together as a family.  Take a bike ride, go to the beach, or play a game at home together.

Encourage reading time.  Summer reading is one of the best ways to continue learning and avoid losing skills over the summer.  Reading to your children or having them read on their own is important.  Allow them to choose the reading materials they enjoy.  Most local libraries or your child’s school provide a fun summer reading program.  Participate in this program to encourage reading throughout the summer.

Make time for memories. 
If you have the opportunity, summer is a good time to create an enduring experience for your children.  Take a trip somewhere special that might introduce a skill or interest late in life.  Maybe it’s a trip to an art museum, sporting event, or historical area.

Summer Camp Survival

Many families send their children to summer camp for child care and to give their child recreation during the summer months.  There are day camps, sleep over camps, and so many specialty camps to choose from.  Once you find the camp that is right for your child, it can be difficult to make the transition and the new schedule work best for your family.  Here are some ideas to make that happen.

  • Try to keep a regular bed time and wake up time.  Although it is nice to be a little more lax in the summer, don’t expect your child to be able to get up early if they are staying up later than usual.  Camp is active and summer sleep is still important.
  • Check in.  Talk to your kids each day about camp.  Ask open ended questions rather than yes/no questions.  Also, be sure to check in with the camp counselors to see how your child is adjusting.
  • Allow for down time.  Many camps involve a day full of games and physical activity.  Give your child some down time after camp.
  • Reinforce the positive.  Find times to praise your child while transitioning to a camp schedule.  Praise for getting out of bed calmly,  getting ready in the morning, or for good camp behavior.