With school out soon, parents either feel two things. 1)”Wow, I can’t wait to spend more time with my kids!” or 2)”Oh, boy, here we go. How will we fill their time?”
Parents who work outside the home have no choice but to send their kids to camps or daycares during the the day, but stay-at-home moms or dads need to get creative. If you need some ideas on how best to occupy your kids this summer then what follows will be just what you need.
In order for children to be happy and content four things need to be present in their day:
3) Free Play/Alone time
How do we structure their days so that all four requirements are met? The following is what a typical day could look like:
8 am Kids wake up (or 9 am)
Eat a healthy breakfast
Have free time to play, watch a good quality children’s program (no fighting, violence, or quick flashing images) for a half hour or hour
Learn how to make or bake something with mommy or daddy. This can be a craft or a baked good.
Eat a healthy lunch
Put them down for a nap or if older, take them outside to:
a) a playground
b) a friends house (this way you can have a tea or coffee with another adult while the kids play!)
c) a play gym
d) walk somewhere (grocery store, post office, ice cream store)
e) take pictures of nature with a disposable or digital camera (Children love this! Give them a
brief lesson on how to focus on an object etc. then let them be creative with whatever they
want to capture) Make these pictures part of another day’s craft activity!
f) kick around a ball together
g) walk in the countryside
h) go to a museum
i) go to the zoo
j) send the kids on a scavenger hunt and after they find everything they can enjoy a homemade
popsicle or ice cream!
k) go to grandma and grandpa’s house
l) play catch
m) meet the working parent for his or her coffee break (how nice to visit them during the day for a
short coffee, tea, lemonade or chocolate milk!)
n) weed the garden or grass (believe it or not, some kids really like doing this! Put on some good
music and have an enjoyable time together)
o) take care of the garden plants by watering them, picking off dead leaves etc.
p) wash the car with buckets of soapy water, sponges and shammy cloths
q) turn on the sprinkler(s) and let the kids run through the water (you can either join in or read a
good book while they play)
Come home and let the children have some “Alone Time” (for you as well!)
Eat a healthy dinner
Spend some quality family time together
To bed no later than 9:00pm for younger children and 10pm for older children.
Voila! A perfect day that is routined and stimulating yet has plenty of free play and sleep.
Erin Kurt is currently the president of Erin Parenting, a company devoted to empowering parents with the tools, training and support they need to create the family life they truly want. She is also the author of Juggling Family Life. To learn more about her book and to sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://erinparenting.com/