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School’s almost out for Summer and while lazy days with a lighter schedule hold some appeal, they fill many moms with dread. If you’re that Type A sort, your first instinct might be to channel Capt. VonTrapp and start assigning a whistle for each child but that can’t be right, right? Here are 5 ways to loosen up this Summer, loosen the apron strings, give the kids a bit of freedom, and keep everyone happy and relaxed. Deep breaths, we can do it together.
1. Set out some healthy snacks for the kids to grab and go. You may be surprised when they stop begging for candy or greasy chips and opt for fresh fruit, veggies, dried fruit, crackers , and granola bars when it’s conveniently within reach.
2. Create a station of art supplies to have ready and available. Gear it for your child’s age with crayons and blank paper for the little guys, and advanced options like paints reserved for the more responsible artist.
3. A full bookshelf is a beautiful sight but can often intimidate or feel like old news. Pick out a few books for the week and set them up in a comfortable, quiet, and well-lit reading spot. It will make the same old books feel fresh and irresistible.
4. Make readily available toys and games that are easy to use without help, and simple enough to encourage creativity & inspire independent play.
5. If you crave order then I’m guessing you also have a thing for charts. I’m a fairly flexible person but I do have a great love of charts of all kinds. Jaime often serenades me with an Excel spreadsheet. My charts are more often of the marker and construction paper variety and involve some type of master plan to incentivize small children. This particular version leaves the responsibility in their hands, and yes, basically pits them against each other to get the most boxes. I’ll let you know how it goes. “Don’t tell me you are bored child, I will send you straight to the chart.” One key is keep the tools required for any Summer chore conveniently located.
A bonus healthy tip for the whole family: Fill up everyone’s favorite water bottle each morning. When the kids beg for you to pour them another sweet beverage, redirect them to the ice water. It will keep them hydrated and keep you from playing waitress all day.
Looks like a lot of great ideas!