This article, entitled "Tips for Getting Ready for Summer Break," comes from Annie Payne, MomsEveryday correspondent from Western Colorado.
For many families summer break is right around the corner. Don’t make the mistake of planning your summer when the kids are already at home tearing the place apart. Start making your plans, schedules, and chore charts now, so you are ready on Day One.
Here are a few of my tips to get you ready for summer break:
Start with a clean slate
Clean your kid’s bedroom for them from top to bottom. I know this goes against everything I have ever said about teaching your children to be independent and taking care of their own things, BUT they have worked hard all year long at school, help them to start out their summer responsibilities fresh. Make sure all their cold weather clothes are packed away. Cull all the toys they don’t play with anymore. Take the heavier blankets off the bed. Take an inventory of the summer wardrobe items to make sure they have all the shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops, and swimsuits they’ll need. They’ll be more apt to follow your summer chore schedule if they don’t have to start already behind in the maintenance of their bedroom.
Chore charts, chore charts, chore charts
This is a life-saver for moms and kids alike. Everyone knows what to expect and what is expected. If you try to implement a chore chart on Day Seven, after you have already had a week of sleeping-in and doing whatever you want, whenever you want, you are going to get a lot of push-back. Take the time to outline everyone’s daily responsibilities before school ends.
In order to get the level of cooperation I want from my kids, I use the computer as leverage. I set a passcode on the computer, I don’t put the code in until the kids have completed whatever I have asked them to do, whether it be: chores, showers, or summer reading. We also have set days to go to the pool or to the movies. The kids know that if they want to go to the pool on Wednesday, they will need to complete their assigned tasks.
Chef Annie’s Cooking School for Hungry Kids
Summer is an excellent time to get the kids in on meal planning, shopping, and preparation. Don’t make your summer any harder by taking on the responsibility of providing three meals a day, plus snacks, all on your own. Kids of all ages can help in some meaningful way. After a few years and involving my kids in the kitchen, I am now to the point where I have three teenagers that can cook several different meals well. I make brownies a little too well.
Gone are the days when kids would disappear on their bikes into the neighbor all day long and reappear at dinner time. This generation needs a lot of encourage to get out into “the real world.” Don’t let your kids find themselves 20 pounds heavier on Day 20 of school break. Early morning hikes and early evening bike rides are a couple of the ways we like to get out and get active to avoid the heat of the day.
I hope you enjoyed these tips for getting a jump on summer break. Now it’s your turn to share your ideas to make every day of your summer break a great one! Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you.