Summer can seem endless for SAHPs (and any kind of parents for that matter!). The endless time without the structure that school and extracurricular activities bring can be overwhelming and panic-inducing. This is where a routine comes in.
Routines are not just for busy school-going mornings. Even one as simple as a breakfast routine can be a lifesaver when it comes to those long weeks in summer filled with free time. Here are our tips to surviving the summer months!
Wake up call
Encourage your children to wake up at a similar time as they would to when they were going to school. True, most children don’t need a wake-up call, heck we’d even like them to sleep a little while longer! By keeping the house quiet until 7.30am (be generous), or by putting their alarms on for certain times, you will help to keep them on a good sleep schedule.
Breakfast as a family
If one parent is dashing off to work, it can feel a lot like a regular school morning. Try to get everyone together for a quick, simple breakfast (we’re not talking pancakes and full fry ups here). Just some porridge and fruit for everyone (plus coffee for yours truly!) before the day begins. You’ll find that you’re all a bit more connected throughout the day from spending that half an hour talking and eating with each other.
Scheduling your days
Now, this can be a bit extreme especially when the weather refuses to cooperate with our well-planned schedules. But if you always go to the park on a Friday – keep it that way. Friday is park day. Rain or shine (dig the rain gear out of the attic, we’re not done with it just yet). For young children especially, knowing what each day will bring, down to what food they get can be thrilling and reassuring. Like us, they enjoy knowing what’s coming, but the odd surprise thrown in is sure to please them as well.
Summer bucket list
Create a summer bucket list with your children before the summer begins. Ask them what kinds of things they would like to do this summer, including field trips, activities, games and indoor activities. Hang the list up somewhere visible (make some space on the fridge door) and tick off each item on the list as it’s done. Enjoy trying to cram everything into those last few weeks in August when time begins to run out.
Quiet time lottery
Not the jackpot kind (though that wouldn’t go amiss either!) but activities for the kids to do independently during the quiet middle of the day. Maybe you’re working from home, or just need some quiet time to read your book. To avoid them watching TV for this block of time, put some options into a hat and let them pick out four activities. Have them spend 30 minutes on each option independently while you work away. Options can include TV time, computer games, reading or writing stories, playing in the back garden, or having some quiet time of their own.
Is there anything you would add to this list? What works for you during the summer months?