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Summer. It can be the best of times and the worst of times. If school aged kids are in the picture, anything that throws off the routine can cause stress, even the most anticipated events like summer break. I find that the first few days of summer are often full, and I mean full, of sibling bickering and drama. Apparently, being around each other 24/7 again each June requires an adjustment period for my kids.
Now, please do not confuse a routine with a schedule. To each her own, but for me summer and strict schedules do not mix. I have found that having a basic summer routine can help ease the transition to summer for my kids and help me maintain my sanity. It also helps me maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious food, plenty of activity, and restful sleep.
Summertime Routine Tips
- Start and end each day at the same time. You might want to push bedtime back a bit if your kids are older and let them sleep in a little longer, but consistency is important. Diffuse an energizing essential oil or blend (Citrus Bliss Invigorating Blend or Peppermint) in the morning and a calming oil or blend (Serenity Calming Blend or Lavender) to help move things along.
- Even though they aren't heading out the door to school, encourage kids to stick to a morning routine. Have them start their day with breakfast, getting dressed, basic hygiene tasks like brushing teeth, and chores. This will help them develop good habits that stay with them later in life.
- Make meal preparation and clean up part of the routine. Kids have a little more time during the summer and they can pitch in even more with meals. Again, this will help instill them with healthy habits.
- Schedule screen time. If gaming and other tech related pastimes are part of the day, schedule a certain block of time during which it is allowed. If you live in a warm climate, perhaps the hottest part of the day is a good time for kids to have their screen time.
- Create a summer bucket list. This could include outings, crafts, games, cooking projects, and other activities that you would like do during the summer. Let the kids help create the list. When they are looking for something to do, have them consult the list.
- Pick a day of the week for recurring summer activities. Maybe Monday is library day, Wednesday is pool day, and Friday is a day to cross off an outing from your summer bucket list. Tuesday and Thursday might be stay home and chill days. This is just an example. Make it work for you and your family.
- Incorporate physical activity into each day. This can be as simple as playing in the yard or taking a walk around the neighborhood. Just make sure part of each day is dedicated to getting everyone moving.
What are some of your strategies for a successful summer break?