When children get bored in the long summer days, parents suffer too. Get prepared early with some fun ideas and resources to survive the summer.
Oh, the summer holidays are around the corner. What most would picture themselves doing is having the time to laze around at the beach and munching on ice cream during the long summer day. Unless you are one of the people who have the title of a parent, then, that is unfortunately not the case for you. You worry about what your children will be up to when school is closed. Will they injure themselves? Pick up bad habits? Get bored?
Here, you can find a comprehensive guide to help your kids have a fun and meaningful summer. And equally important: for you to have a peace of mind so that even without schools, you will survive!
Before the summer holidays start:
Have a plan and stock up resources
While this sounds like a no-brainer, having the right game plan is crucial if you want a peaceful summer. As your work carries on while your children now have all the time in the world to have fun (create troubles), having some resources ready will be essential.
Depending on your child's age and interests, you may consider stocking up resources for them in advance. This will mitigate boredom and its related destructive symptoms, including unnecessary calls and messages, complaints about boredom or requests for new toys and new gadgets.
Do you mean actual books? Yes. Engaging your children with books might sound old. Fact is, they never get old. Reading as the time-proven pass time for children provide many benefits and there are actually many children's books authors consistently producing quality works. If you’re stuck for inspiration on what to buy or borrow, check out the list below:
If your children like nature, animals or frogs, consider this beautifully illustrated book by Owen Davey. 4.5 out of 5 rating on Goodreads.
For your kids who are interested in machines! The younger ones can enjoy the graphics while the older ones can read and learn more about how different machines work.
A children's book that explores the meaning of friendship in times of uncertainty. From Wendy Meddour to your little ones' gentle hearts. 4.48/5 Goodreads rating.
4.66/5 rating on Goodreads, this book by Vashti Hardy is an enjoyable read with a mix of fantasy, science fiction, school stories, and what it means to love and to lose.
The detective duo is out to solve another case this summer holiday. Rated 4.43 out of 5 on Goodreads, this young adult fiction by Sharna Jackson brings your children to a mystery adventure.
4.36 average rating on Goodreads, this tale by bestselling author Sarah Rees Brennan is about friendship, falling in love and diplomacy.
The second of The Dundoodle Mysteries by David O'Connell, this book is a must-read for the curious who love ghosts, monsters, and marshmallows.
Educational toys and gifts
Butterfly Garden is a best-seller on Amazon. Let your kids raise some butterflies and discover wonders of nature this summer.
For the young detectives:
Master detective toolkit has a majority customers rate 5 stars on Amazon. It allows your young detectives to learn the tools, understand forensic science and experiment hands-on. Solve some mysteries in this long summer break.
For the little musicians:
Enjoy some music created by your little ones this summer with this tambourine set!
For Generation Tech:
For your children who grow up being surrounded by the Internet and mobile devices, what is better than a toy that teaches the very foundation of coding - unplugged. Find more unplugged coding activities for kids here.
Having the resources ready to entertain your children's curiosity is only part of the summer plan. A right mindset is equally crucial. If you have not heard of mindfulness or mindful parenting, now is a perfect time to start knowing more about it!
The essence of it is about being in touch with feelings when interacting with your kids. Take note of how both you and your children are feeling even when there is tension or conflict. A lot of times, when children misbehave: yelling on the streets or crying out loud on the train, we see the parents get angry and raise their voice too. However, mindful parenting offers us a more effective and sustainable alternative. It goes down to understanding the reasons behind your kids' tantrums. As children's cognition is still developing, so are their emotional regulation ability. When they fail to handle the intensity of their emotions, they may burst out and throw a tantrum. To set a good example, parents should be calm. This will demonstrate to your children that with practice, they too can control their own emotions. Besides, it prevents further escalation of the tension.
However, when your kids are yelling and everyone else around you are staring, it isn't the easiest time to remain calm. Mindful parenting provides us with some tips at this time of need.
- Notice your own feelings
- Pause before reacting in anger
- Listen carefully to your child's viewpoint even when you disagree
Spend some of your time having parent child communication activities. Talk with your kid on how they want to spend their summer holidays. While it is tempting to ask "What's your summer plan?" and leave the rest to your child, it might not be effective especially if they are still young. If you are stuck, here are some useful questions to get you started.
- What were the three things you wanted to try during school term but didn't have enough time?
- What are the three things you wish to do as a family during this summer holidays?
- To have an ideal summer holiday, what is one thing that you will be doing everyday?
During summer holidays:
1. Bullet journal
2. Art journal
3. Video logging
Near the end
If things go according to plans, you will be celebrating the reopening of schools at this point. But we all know they often don't. So to give the summer holidays some closure, try some of the ideas below:
- Vote the best photos from the summer as a family and print them out. Create an album the good old way.
- If you took videos, view them together on a weekend night.
- Write a review for the summer holidays
For more resources for the summer holiday, check out:
Like our A Complete Guide For Parents To Survive The Summer Holidays -- For more resources for parents:
- How to improve executive functioning skills in children with games
- What is computer science and how to make kids love it
Kaminsky, M. S. (2010). Naked Lens - Video Blogging and Video Journaling to Reclaim the YOU in YouTube: How to Use Online Video to Increase Self Expression, Enhance Creativity, and Join the Video Regeneration. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.sg/books?id=grhR1eYswPkC
Mindful Parenting: How to Respond Instead of React by Parent Co. on October 6, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.gottman.com/blog/mindful-parenting-how-to-respond-instead-of-react/