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Summer days can be exhausting, but I love being able to have my kids home for the summer. And even though we want to soak up as much fun as possible, I believe children should stay on a schedule all year long. Staying on a schedule helps them feel productive and teaches them responsibility. I try to make our schedule fun, educational and budget-friendly.
I like to incorporate a theme for each day and I do not set up times except on Sunday. I also believe kids should keep learning during this break from school, so they don't suffer the "summer slide.” Make sure to encourage them to keep reading for at least 30 minutes each day. You can make this fun by offering incentives like reading bingo. Each bingo square has a different type of genre or reading activity your child(ren)must complete. Once completed, then can earn a treat. Workbooks are ideal to helping them stay on track. There are also many sites that offer free printables and age-appropriate educational activities.
Here is an example of what our week might look like during the summer.
Make something Monday
On this day we do arts and crafts. Michael's sells various canvas sizes in value packs. Make sure to use their 40% coupon. I usually let them paint. Painting for kids is beneficial because it is a stress reliever, it helps them see things with an open mind, and gives them another way to express themselves.
Trip to the Library Tuesday
We visit the library and get some books and read them in their comfortable seats. Before we leave, we check out one book each and challenge ourselves to read it before our next trip back. The library offers many reading challenges and your child can be rewarded with prizes. Make sure to call your local library for more information.
Last year I came across a tutorial to make a sensory water table with PVC pipe. It was very easy to make and I am excited to put it back together this summer. You can get double use out of it and use it as a sand table. Other water day ideas could include water balloon fights, water balloon baseball, water balloon launchers, a bubble station, or a day at the pool.
Thoughtful and Kindness Thursday
We will be volunteering our time this summer to help serve Waco residents and the homeless in one of our local community kitchens. We will also be visiting nursing homes and making care packages. This will be our first year to do this, and I hope to add more acts of kindness to our family kindness checklist.
I am hoping to provide my children the chance to experiment with science, STEM and even coding.
Our favorites are leak-proof water bags, potato powered light bulbs, walking water, marshmallow engineering, making kaleidoscopes, and my kids favorite—the coke bottle explosion!
Science provides the chance to use critical thinking skills, teaches methods of inquiry, and stimulates curiosity.
Movie or Board Game Saturday
We camp out in the living room, rent a movie and have a popcorn and snack station. There are many fun family board games that are not only educational but entertaining for all ages. I believe game nights are important for a family because it teaches communication skills, problem solving, teamwork and sportsmanship.
Family Cooking Sunday
We use Sundays to cook or bake as a family. Usually the night before we vote on what and when we will be cooking together. Make sure everyone has a role during this time. Younger children can set up stations and help with mixing ingredients. Older children can do the cutting and some cooking. This time is meant to be enjoyable so keep the recipes simple. Cooking together as a family and eating together afterwards has many benefits including laying the groundwork for our kids to prioritize family later in life.
Gabriela is wife to husband, Aaron, and mom to four boys! She is a full-time mom, works as a substitute teacher, and owns her own cleaning business. She runs the Facebook group, I Only Make Boys, where she enjoys chronicling her boys' crazy adventures and sharing wisdom with other boymoms.