Are your kids getting antsy about summer vacation coming up? I’m not talking about going away for vacation–I mean just being off of school and lounging around the house.
School days have challenges. All the sports practices, homework and driving kids around here and there. But summertime has its own problems, whether you work from home or head out to an office all day.
Too much noise at home if you have a home office.
Lack of day care if you work out of the home.
Mind-numbing television or electronics on all…day…long…
The need for more (healthy) food that the kids may or may not eat.
Sure, there are some advantages of having the kids home for the summer, depending on how many kids you have. For me, the older boys are sometimes responsible for watching the younger girls when needed. But they all always seem to want to go and do something.
I totally understand. It’s hard for kids to entertain themselves in the summer in Phoenix. It’s too hot for them to do anything outside, and being stuck indoors all day gets boring.
Ultimately, you need to figure out what works for your household. Here’s how I make sure the kids are well-fed and entertained while I maintain my sanity:
- Stock the kitchen with healthy options that the kids pick out themselves. And then make sure everything is prepped and easily accessible in the refrigerator.
- Have activities available to the kids that they can do without your supervision. This can include books, stickers, puzzles, crafts or some other hobby your kids are into. If you live somewhere where the weather is nice, buy sidewalk chalk and outdoor games to keep them entertained.
- Don’t let chores fall by the wayside. In fact, add to them! Give yourself a little break by having your kids do some chores that they don’t normally do during the school year. Nearly any age child can dust, make a simple dinner, organize the pantry or clean out under the bathroom sink.
- Have “compromise” be the word of the summer. If you’re home during the day, it’s tempting to make the summer all about the kids. But you need some time to yourself too. And the last thing you want is arguing kids. Allow them to choose different things to do outside the house–but give yourself space to do what you want or need too.
- Require some learning time so there’s no summer slip. Kids need a break from school, but their minds are still growing so there’s nothing wrong with incorporating some learning into the summer. Grab a workbook to help them review last year’s lessons or preview what’s coming up next year. Head to the library to get some nonfiction. Or have the kids log into an online learning tool like Khan Academy to learn something new.
What are your tricks for keeping your sanity during the summer months? Let me know what your go-to resources and tips are! Even though my kids spend time away at summer camp, I’m still always looking for new things to do to keep them busy when they’re here!