There are four areas to consider in planning the BEST summer with your kids! These tips from author and parent Maria Dismondy will help you build intention to make the most of every summer day without feeling over-scheduled or overwhelmed.
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Rainy or excessively hot days are inevitable, so it’s a great idea to have prepped ideas for keeping the family inside on hand! A few crafts, science experiments, or recipes will go a long way, and you can give your kids the freedom to choose which activity they’d like to try that day
Maria has lived in Michigan her entire life and is still uncovering hidden gems outdoors! The key is learning about all of the options there are for families and children outside and keeping that information tucked away for the days you are ready for outdoor adventures. You may find endless playground structures, hiking trails, waterparks, and biking trails within a mere 30 minute drive. These parks have it all. Make a summer bucket list of parks to check off for the summer, and ask your kids which were their favorites. The key is to plan and be prepared…don’t forget snacks, water, and sunscreen!
You may wonder how kids can go on field trips when they are out of school! Parents can also explore a number of businesses, farms, factories, and more with their children. For the working parents reading this, all of this CAN be available for you too. You have less time so quantity isn’t your priority but quality. You can squeeze in a fun trip to your local dairy farm on a weekend and learn alongside your children how ice cream is made! Try to find books and games that tie into what you learned to enjoy at home. If you’re loving field trips in summer, continue them on fall weekends- a maple syrup or cider mill tour is a crowd-pleaser.
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Last (but definitely NOT LEAST) is the area of learning to think of when planning for the BEST SUMMER EVER. There is something called the Summer Slide. Children have the tendency to lose some of their academic skills when not using them in the summer months. Research indicates that children who do not read over the summer can lose up to 22% of their reading level. Yikes! Maybe spend the first hour of each day after breakfast (unless you have a field trip or adventure planned) working on reading, writing and math. Summer Bridge Books from Costco are Maria’s favorite because they provide various opportunities for children to practice numerous subject areas. It’s not as good as being in the classroom, but it will help with the Summer Slide!
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