Hey moms, dads and nannies! With summer coming up, we know that schedules are going to alter drastically. This can be a huge change for moms, dads, nannies, and children alike. Suddenly there may be more kids in the house not to mention more often. But this is exciting, as there are many ways to engage the kids through enriching, educational activities throughout your city. A little investigation can go a long way. Since most children get out of school in the next month or so, make sure to do your summer prep-work in advance. Now is a great time to look into the programs available near you. Here are some recommendations I have when it comes to keeping kids busy and active during the summer months.
Attend Summer Camp
Okay, okay, I know it’s obvious. But not every parent sends their child to camp. Maybe you’re traveling with the family a lot over summer, or maybe your budget is tight this year. Whatever the case, I am a strong believer that sending your child to camp even for as a little as one to two weeks over the summer will make a monumental difference in your child’s life. Not only will he or she gain confidence and self-esteem, but he or she will gain leadership skills as well as a willingness to try new things. Not to mention this will take up a huge portion of the day!
Introduce a New Activity
Summer is the best time to invest in a new a learning experience for your child. Whether that may be picking up guitar or piano, taking Spanish classes, learning how to make friendship bracelets, trying out tap or ballet classes, I recommend introducing a new skill set in your child’s life during the months of June and July. Feel free to get creative. If you hire a nanny, ask him or her what ideas he or she has in mind; maybe if he or she is an expertise in one area or another, they can teach your child the skill they have previously acquired! In addition to the lessons your child attends, it’s likely they will be asked to spend a little time each day, or at least a few times a week, honing their new skill. This will keep the kids occupied and excited about their new talent!
Set a Routine
Setting a routine early in the summer is a small but effective way of giving your kids something to do. If they know that each morning they are supposed to feed the animals or put away their toys etc, this will keep their mornings consistent and engaged. Plus, I recommend establishing a system that requires X amount of things to be finished before the day’s fun can ensue. Completing simple tasks will teach your child responsibility as well as set the standard for developing good habits that will bleed into the next school year! When the child knows there is a fun day outing planned, he or she is more likely to complete the tasks with the hopes that something exciting will happen afterwards.
By Dr. Lindsay Heller, Psy. D.