Summer is almost back, and that means longer days, lots of sun, and wayyyyy too much free time. We are unpacking the importance of having your kids on a summer schedule, but with flexibility in mind. As Amy Upchurch, Founder and CEO of Pink Stork, puts it, “I like to think of our summer schedule as a rhythm, we find the ebbs and flows that work best for us.” Whether it is your 5 year old or your 13 year old, setting some basic guidelines will help everyone have a smoother summer!
The “unknown” is one of the top things kids are afraid of. They are constantly growing and changing. One of the best ways to provide comfort and structure is to set up a schedule they can understand and follow.
- Get Their Input: As school is ending I’m sure you have been hearing all about the great things your little ones want to do for the next two months. Take time to sit down with them and list the activities they would want to do during the summer. This can range from trips to the pool or beach to reading their first chapter book. Having them give their input helps them know that their schedule will include fun and something to look forward to.
- The Importance of Sleep: Amy Upchurch will tell anyone that structure and schedules have never been her forte, but she has found that finding some structure in the long summer days has helped both her and her kids know what’s coming. One of the most important things to her kids is sleep. It’s important that the amount of sleep your kids were getting during the school year is still happening during the summer. Knowing when bedtime, along with other events like meal time is, helps set behavioral standards that kids understand they must stick to.
- Factor in Free Time: You aren’t going to be able to schedule out every minute of everyday, nor do you want to. Embrace the freedom Summer offers by building in down time for the kids and you. Give everyone the freedom to do as the please or a spontaneous bike ride. You will appreciate the flexibility you gave yourself and them.
Now that you are prepped with planner in hand, go and enjoy your summer!! Remember that schedules help offer stability to your day, but don’t let it control them. Stay up a bit later to watch the end of the movie, skip reading for ice cream dates, and take naps under an umbrella in the sun.