Our kids, for the most part, are overscheduled. So when spring break or summer break rolls around, we all tend to relish the chance to just sleep in and do nothing. While that may be fine for a long weekend, extended breaks need some purpose and a plan. Try these tips for keeping your kids active and engaged with the world around them during school break.
1. Maintain normal hours.
If your children stay up until the wee hours, they’re naturally going to want to sleep all morning. Try to keep the family on a reasonable schedule, even when school’s out so that more can be accomplished during the day. This will also make the inevitable transition back to a school schedule easier.
2. Set aside some tasks for the break.
We all have those things we would get done if we “just had the time.” Whether it’s cleaning out the kids’ closets or getting all those decorations back into the attic, you have a golden opportunity for getting caught up with family to-dos during the break. Delegate portions of each task to the kids and get things accomplished!
3. Focus on service.
Giving our time to others in need is difficult during the school week routine. Make plans during the break to participate in volunteer work at a local shelter or nonprofit. And remember those closets that you cleaned out in #2? You likely have boxes of gently-used clothing and toys that many of these agencies would love to have. Let your children participate in the process of donating those items.
4. Put limits on screen time.
With the lure of computers and around the clock cable programming, the school break can easily become a blur of video games and sitcoms. Use our screen time tracker to keep the use of these types of entertainment to a reasonable level and keep kids moving in other directions.
5. Schedule some friend time.
Make plans with fellow moms in advance to have other kids over. It will keep your crew engaged and having fun, and the other parents may reciprocate, giving you some much-needed quiet time!
6. Make a stop at the library.
Your local library is a great resource during school breaks and often schedules story times and other programming specifically for these weeks. Make a trip there to check out a couple of great reads, and hang out for a while to explore. You may be surprised by the variety of options and services available in today’s libraries.
With a little forethought, you can keep your home from turning into a haven for the school break doldrums, and make great use of today’s most valuable family commodity—time!
Related Resource: 7 Ways to Learn Over the Summer