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How To Actually Get a Break This Summer While Keeping The Kids Busy

by Briana Marie
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It’s time to start thinking about the summer! And although many of us may be looking forward to the summer sun as an escape from the dreary winter months, a whole heap of other questions can come up. Namely, what are the kids going to do? After all, we don’t want them laying around the house all day.

What if you can’t afford to take the entire family on vacation or you just need some time to yourself?

These are just a couple of questions that are likely to come up.

We’ve got to ensure that the kids are occupied in the right ways without wearing ourselves out. So let’s explore some ways to sneak in some time to yourself during this summer break.

mom and kids eating popcorn at home | angel_nt from Getty Images via Canva.com
Photo credit: angel_nt from Getty Images via Canva.com

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First Things First: Plan Ahead

One of the keys to successfully managing summer break is planning activities in advance. By doing so, you can ensure that you have a variety of options to keep your kids busy and engaged.

Creating a summer schedule is a great way to stay organized and incorporate a mix of fun and educational activities. This not only provides a bit of structure (that can greatly cut down on your stress levels) but also gives your children a sense of anticipation and excitement for summer break. As an added bonus, involving your kids in the planning process empowers them and allows them to contribute their ideas and interests.

Ideas to Keep The Kids Busy While You Get a Break This Summer

The Employment Route

Yes, it’s obvious that they could get a job. But for those kids aren’t old enough to get any form of employment, what can we do to keep them occupied?

We can find some ways to structure a working day for them, not just through mundane tasks or chores, but we could find something to motivate them to get outside and move around.

Gardening is a good example because they can see the fruits of their labor, get some exercise, and it’s an activity that has been proven to have a positive effect on mental health. Not to mention, you can sit back and soak up some sun with a nice glass of lemonade while you keep an eye on them.

If you don’t want your children staying getting lazy throughout the summer sitting around watching television or playing video games, get them into some good working habits that will benefit them. This can also be done through volunteer work in your community.

Outdoor Activities

Water play activities, such as setting up a sprinkler or having a water balloon fight, are perfect for cooling down on hot days, and again, you can sit outside and relax while the kids play.

As mentioned above, gardening is another way to keep the kids busy while you sneak in a bit of relaxation. Gardening projects, such as planting flowers or growing vegetables, teach kids about nature and responsibility.

Another idea is to set up a scavenger hunt in the backyard. This is a great way to give the kids something calm to do while you kick your feet up with a nice iced tea or your favorite drink.

The Summer Camp Option

You can get some inspiration from sites like America’s Finest Summer Camps to see what‘s out there and in your budget. But this is not just a way to get the kids out of the house for the summer. As far as practical skills and social skills are concerned, this gives your child the opportunity to stretch themselves. This could also work wonders if they have their own issues in school.

As many of us know, if we go through school with the same people, it can be difficult to break out of our social construct. So give them the chance to be a different person and to increase their confidence.

Summer camps are also a really great way for children to learn new skills and explore different activities.

Indoor Activities

When the weather isn’t suitable for outdoor activities or during downtime at home, there are plenty of creative and educational indoor ideas to keep the kids busy.

Arts and crafts projects are a great way to let kids exercise their creativity and imagination (and we have plenty of printable coloring sheets to help you out!).

DIY science experiments are really exciting ways to educate and engage kids over the summer. We like to use MEL Science Kits in my household because they are super unique!

It’s important to manage screen time and find a balance between educational use and entertainment during the summer break.

Enlisting Help and Support

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and support during the summer break. Family and friends can be a valuable resource, whether it’s offering to watch the kids for a few hours or planning fun activities together.

Also, as mentioned above, explore community resources like summer camps or classes that provide supervised and structured activities for the kids.

Lastly, setting up playdates is not only a great way for your children to interact socially but also gives you some uninterrupted time for relaxation or personal activities. You could even trade off with other parents, where maybe you have the kids one day and the other parent(s) are in charge of the next playdate.

Final Thoughts

Summer break can be both enjoyable and stressful for parents, but I hope the tips in this article make it a little easier. By planning ahead, engaging in a variety of outdoor and indoor activities, enlisting help and support, and prioritizing self-care, you can find a balance between keeping your kids busy and taking breaks for yourself.

Don’t forget to check out our related blog posts or resources for further reading on parenting and self-care during the summer break.

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