SCHOOL HAS ENDED! Summer is a time for rest and relaxation, right?
School’s out and the sense of relief is palpable – no blaring alarm clocks, and no rushing off to school, extracurriculars and other appointments. Kids and parents alike are eager to create a summer that is filled with adventures or does the long summer holiday create a sense of anxiety – how am I going to entertain my kids for an entire summer? For some without the structure of school and its natural daily routines, it’s easy for life at home to fall apart. Bedtimes extend into the late hours, personal hygiene falls by the wayside, and there’s way too much screen time. Sound familiar?
Summer holidays are an important time to strike a balance especially when your every waking moment is not dictated by the school calendar, as much as we want our kids to have fun it is still important to maintain some kind of routine throughout the summer months. For our kids, routines are incredibly important as knowing what to expect gives them the security of knowing what comes next and in turn, a life-saving schedule can eliminate those power struggles at home promoting a happier summer holidays for everyone!
Click here for a free printable timetable for kids
Here are a couple of ways that routines are helpful and some ideas for creating a sense of routine within your home during the summer months:
Eliminate The fear of The Unknown – What’s Next Mum!
Kids like to know what’s next, remember knowing what to expect provides a child with a sense of security.
- Sit down with your family at the start of the summer holidays and create your “Summer Bucket List.” This will allow the kids to have a voice in deciding what they would like to do and give the kids something to look forward to and a clear timeline so they know what to expect. Plan some special events such as day camps, a trip to a waterpark, a farm tour… There is no shortage of kids activities in Bangkok or Chiang Mai and you can download our free activities and camps guide HERE to get your planning under way.
- Maintain morning and evening routines, especially if your children need the structure to avoid meltdowns at the end of the day. While you can let the kids sleep in, create set times for washing up/brushing teeth, bathing, meals, reading, outdoor play, television, bedtime and any other daily activities. Older kids may benefit from having such tasks presented on a board as a checklist.
- Create a visual schedule and for younger children – include lots of fun pictures, turn this into a creative activity where they can cut out or draw pictures of teeth cleaning, screen time, bed time and maybe gently introduce chore time!
- Creating themes around week days is a good way to establish a sense of consistency throughout each week:
- Messy Monday – do an art project with finger paints or practice writing in shaving cream, or make a mud pie!
- Taco Tuesdays – let the kids create fun menus and even help chop and cook in the ktichen.
- Wet Wednesday – visit different pools or splash pads or have a water balloon fight in your backyard!
- Thursdays – help us brainstorm this one!
- Fun Friday – explore a new playground each week or do something different like visit the zoo or the aquarium!
Routines Build Connections
- Bedtime reading schedules are always such a precious part of a kid’s routine and an easy one to carry over into the summer holidays. It’s always a great way for kids to settle down before bed and an excellent chance to snuggle with mom or dad on the couch and create those special connections.
- Summer holiday dinner times can always be such a family fun time, think picnics in the garden, the park, making camps under the dining table or building blanket forts in the kids rooms – go on, let them have dinner in their favourite places! As much as we know routines are key, it also doesn’t hurt to let the kids stay up late after dinner as a summer treat to watch the sun go down and the stars come out.
- Maintain a consistent bedtime as best as you can! Even though there isn’t school the next day, kids still need sleep! And helping your child to wind-down after the events of the day can be a great time to check in with them, talk about the favourite parts of their day or what they love most about summer holidays.
Remember Directors of Entertainment, allow for a short transition period from school time into full holiday mode. You all deserve a break to do whatever you like. Savor the time off by lounging at home, planning short excursions around town or getting out of Bangkok for a few days. Don’t neglect your own schedule; regularly set aside time for yourself without the kids to rest, catch up on work or go out with friends.