The summer holidays is a whole new ball game when it comes to parenting. Looking after your child for long periods of time without the respite of school, can sometimes be a worrying time for some parents. Here are six of SELFA’s top tips for planning a great summer for you and your child.
Come up with a fun summer bucket list filled with activities that you and your children are excited to do e.g. the zoo! It is important that you make sure that your list is affordable. Once completed, choose the dates that you will do the activity and mark it on your calendar – seeing the plans on a calendar will give your child things to look forward to.
When it comes to summer, some parents think that they have to schedule plans for every minute of every day. However, this is not a realistic goal; eventually you will burn out and will not have the energy to continue with your amazing plans. Instead, allow for down time on certain days, so that you and your children can get your energy back.
Set Time Aside
One of the biggest mistakes that parents can do during the summer holidays is trying to outshine other parents by planning the most extravagant activities and whilst doing this may seem like what your child wants, in reality all they want is love and attention from you. So set time aside from your day so that you can make a meaningful connection with your child and plan activities that will allow you to chat and bond with each other e.g. roasting marshmallows in your garden or counting the stars at night.
Try New Things
There’s no better time to encourage your child to take up a new activity. If there is anything that your child has been saying that they want to do or try, give them the facilities to do so – as long as it is within your budget. With the summer holidays being so long, they can really practice hard and learn to love it. The best thing about this is that that new activities encourage the brain to develop and build your child’s focus and creativity up.
When it is super hot outside and your children begin to get bored, technology has a way of eating up all of your child’s time and parents can easily fall into the trap of technology becoming the babysitter. Instead of allowing this to happen, why not encourage them to pick up a new book? Reading books is the key to opening up a child’s imagination and creativity.
Create Structure and Boundaries
Summer routines will not be anything close to your child’s term time routine, but keeping some sort of routine is vital to your child’s behaviour during the school holidays. With that being said, children do deserve to be somewhat freed from the tight structures of the school year, but they will also appreciate the security of knowing that some things will remain the same. Keep the same bed time and maintain the same amount of chores, this will help to discourage behavioural problems by ensuring that there is still structure in their lives.
Did you find any of these tips useful? As a local children’s charity, we are always excited to hear new ideas about planning a fun summer holidays as this is something that we do every year as we look after a great number of children across every school holiday. So, if you have some advice or tips of your own, please let us know!