Summer is almost here, which means two things:
- The weather is going to get quite hot and
- The kids are home all the time.
The first few days of summer vacation are an adjustment period, especially if you work and are unable to be home with your children. Think of ways to keep them occupied if they’re going to be home all day. Idle hands are the devil’s playground, so keep theirs as busy as you can.
Divide up Housework
Your kids live there too, so have them earn their keep. Make a chart of chores for your kids to complete while you and your partner are at work. Even young children are able to participate, so think of age-appropriate chores for each troop to complete.
- If you have pets, designate someone to take care of them. Examples include feeding and taking for a walk, scooping out litter boxes and making sure the water bowl is always full. Shop for dog products from VPD if you notice that you’re starting to run low.
- Make a rule that the kitchen is to be spotless with no dishes in the sink when you get home. Factor sweeping the floor and wiping the counter into this equation. Since siblings love to argue about whose turn it is, make a rotating schedule.
- You can apply the same principle to common areas like the playroom and the living room. Make it clear that if the house is a mess when you get home, there will be consequences. Put all kids in charge of cleaning these areas together; for example, Chase vacuums the carpet while Madison dusts. The job will get done much faster if everyone works together.
Activities and Camps
Since parents all over the country are in the same predicament that you are, there are many activities for kids to keep them busy in the summertime. Look on your community’s website and see what’s available in your area.
- Though the typical length is only a week, Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a grade-A way to keep kids busy. It’s free through most churches, puts kids with others in their age group and teaches wholesome lessons. You don’t have to be a religious family to enjoy all the benefits that VBS has to offer.
- They might be out of school, but that doesn’t mean that the learning should stop over the summer. Enroll your kids in classes or lessons that they might find interesting. Some ideas might be horseback riding, learning an instrument or cooking lessons.
- Summer camp creates lifetime memories and important life lessons as well. Your children are living out in the wilderness for a little while and you are kid-free for at least a week.
Remember the heat that was mentioned? It doesn’t go away. Take a day or two off of work and cool down with your kids. Having family time is important, and summer is the perfect time to make it. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
- Is there a local water park? Buy day passes for your whole family and spend the whole day splashing in pools and water slides. This is a great way to wear everybody out to ensure a good night’s sleep.
- The sprinkler never fails to deliver a good time. Pick up the dog poop in the yard first, then drag out your lawn sprinkler and turn it on full blast.
- What’s summer without Otter Pops? Buy some of these classic treats and keep them in the freezer for a sweet cool-down.
Don’t let the schedule stop simply because the public school is closed. Planning for kids being out of school is key to making their summer a successful one instead of three wasted months.