Summer vacation a time of relaxation for both kids and their parents – no more homework, no more waking up to an alarm and no more stress, right?! At least in the eyes of a kid, summer vacation is supposed to be a break.
However, as parents, we know that this is not entirely the case. Kids still need to keep their brains fresh and in control. How do we help them do this? By limiting their tv and video game time as well as allowing them some tv and video game time to help their brains and their bodies unwind.
Now, I know it totally sounds like I just contradicted myself but just wait and hear me out.
As a parent, I want my kids to keep learning, practicing their skills and exercising throughout the summer months. Maybe not as much as they would in school but I don’t want them to completely shut down either. We have a plan in place in our household to help them (and ourselves) maintain the “calm” (or lack of) just as we did during the school months.
One lesson a day
Every parent teacher we conference we ask our oldest son’s teacher what area/subject he thinks our son will benefit from having a little more focus on. This year the focus was math. Once a day our son has to go on Reflex Math – a website that teaches your child math through video game play – and get a green light. This usually takes him 20-30 minutes.
Our youngest will be starting Kindergarten in the fall and we all know at this age there is a lot to work on especially if they haven’t gone to Pre-K or daycare. We’ve picked up a learning workbook and every day he has to do one page. This usually takes 20-30 minutes.
Netflix can also be used as a great tool for teaching your kids about the world. Explore the vast Arctic Plains with Frozen Planet or the depths of the jungles with Wild Ones. They’ll be so interested in what’s happening on screen that they won’t even realize their learning.
When I was a kid this would have constituted as a fun time to me – I love to read and have always preferred the book over the movie. For my kids this seems to be torture, even though their book shelf is full of books they’ve picked out, they don’t really have too much interest in reading.
Every day after lunch we go outside for a minimum of an hour. The boys get to play their cops & robbers, ninjas or whatever adventure it is that they feel like going on that day. We go for bike rides. We run in the sprinkler or (their favourite) I squirt them with the hose and water guns. Every day is different which makes everyday fun. They get their exercise and I don’t have to deal with any fighting. It’s a win-win!
Make the bed. Put their laundry away. Make sure their play area is neat & tidy. Bring the dirty clothes to the laundry. Take out the trash/recycling. All of these are chores that a child of any age can do.
Take a break with your kids. Let them pick a movie, a new tv series to start binge-watching with you or check out the NEW Interactive adventure Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale, now streaming on Netflix. Have some fun helping your little ones decide what Puss in Boots should do and get creative with printable coloring pages.
The most important thing to remember is to let your kids be kids – they’re only so small for so long. Do everything mentioned in this post at least once a day in NO particular order, not having everything so structured will still help them keep their brains fresh but will also help them relax. No pressure.
What are some ways that your family stays structured without a schedule during summer break?
DISCLOSURE: I am a part of the Netflix #Streamteam.and do receive special perks and/or gifts because of my affiliation with them. However, as always, all thought and opinions are my own and I really do LOVE to binge-watch.