During the school year, the calendar is jam-packed with afterschool activities and commitments. It’s sometimes overwhelming for kids and parents. And now, the frenzy for summer activities is about to begin! Registration for camps, sports teams, youth activities, art classes, and more will soon be in full swing. The opportunities for families and children are amazing. The big questions for families to consider are, “What will the kids participate in over the summer months? What do we want our family time to look like?” The challenge is determining what’s best from the long list of really good choices.
Family meetings are a good venue for making decisions for what the summer months will entail. Have all the information for possible activities available for everyone to look over. Plan on discussing summer travel too. Have brochures, maps, and printed information from the Internet. Mark all prior commitments on the family calendar so you’re prepared for the meeting with available dates. Print out a copy of the calendar months (June, July, and August) to pencil in ideas as your family plans. If you have tweens and teens, ask the kids to put together a list of activities they want to participate in over the summer as well as summer jobs possibilities.
At the family meeting, consider the following questions to get started.
Considerations in Choosing Summer Activities with Children
1. Will we be going on a family vacation this summer? If so, when, where, and for how long?
2. Are there any other family plans for June, July, and August that need to be taken into consideration? (Weekends with the extended family, weddings, reunions, etc.)
3. Are there activities that are mandatory from a parent’s point of view? (Vacation Bible School and swimming lessons qualified in my family.)
4. What one activity does each child REALLY want to participate in during the summer?
5. Will transportation issues and carpooling need to be discussed?
6. Will the schedule allow for family time?
7. What would a “pie-in-the-sky” family fun day be for you? (Have each family member answer this one. The ideas will be fun!)
Considering the hustle and bustle of the school year, planning summer activities will be a nice respite. Begin your family meeting with prayer, asking the Lord to guide you in your plans. End the meeting with a fun dessert you typically serve in the summertime. Keep in mind, mom and dad; you are the “keepers of the calendar”. If life seems to be getting out of hand, pull the plug on the number of summer activities. Too much of a good thing can be too much. Period.
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Becky Danielson, M.Ed., has two of the best job descriptions, wife and mom. She is also a licensed Parent & Family Educator, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting, and the co-author of Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love along with Study Guides. The series is available on Amazon. Becky and her family live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Subscribe to the parenting newsletter at FaithFirstParent.com and the quarterly newsletter at 1Corinthians13Parenting.com for parenting tips, strategies, and resources to equip and encourage you on your parenting journey.