It's been a tough academic year for may moms, with our kids being in and out of schools and center's. Constantly having to adapt to a new routine can be tough and exhausting.
Halfway through my children's summer break, I'm finding myself having to adapt to a new reality, where all 4 of my kids are at home and I have a never ending 'to do list' to get through. It's going to be a tough 4 weeks until they go back to school, but I'm determined on having a good end to this summer break. Here's my guide to surviving this summer break!
1. Routines - yes kids are on holiday, but we still need a routine. Being consistent is key to decreasing negative behaviour and ensuring everyone knows what's happening. Although it's a more relaxed routine, we still have a set 'bed time', lunch and snack time and two structured activities planned out for each child. But let's be honest, i am keeping this realistic, yes there is more TV time than usual and yes we have extended our bed time by an hour. But as long as their's a routine for all of us to follow, we have smoother days.
2. Toys - I have spent a day re-organising the toys and activities we have in the play room. I have decided to put out 'invitations to play' as well as open ended toys. An 'invitation to play' activity is when you set up certain toys/objects that have a clear function and are of easy reach for your child to 'grab' and start exploring independently. Examples of what I have set up are:
- A tray that has play-dough, cutters, plastic scissors, googeley eyes
- A container with scrap paper and dot paint makers
- Plastic tweezers, sorting mat and beads
- Crayons, pencils and coloring worksheets
Just by setting up some simple activities that are clearly presented in containers that the kids can access has made a huge difference. My invitation to play activities have encouraged my kids to independently choose an activity and explore. I will also be rotating activities every week and introducing new ones.
3. Snacks - We have a designated area for healthy snacks and water bottles. At first we didn't have a specific snack table or 'snack time', but what ended up happening was that they would graze all day and not eat properly during meal times. They all struggled with making 'healthy' choices as well!
By having a designated snack table with healthy options, as well as announcing snack time and pausing to have a 'snack break' made sure they ate well during meal times.
It's only been a few days since I have started using these techniques with my kids and it seems to be going well. Will this be enough to get us through the next couple of weeks? Probably not, as I might need to introduce new techniques and ideas; but it's all about being flexible and creating memories.
Share your tips in the comments below.