Surviving summer: 
hat to do during summer vacation so you don't go insane)

School is out!  YAHOO!  But wait--have you thought about surviving summer?  What to do during summer vacation? No clue? Do you have ideas for kids in the summer? No? You're in the right place. Questions normal parents ask:

  • Are my kids going to destroy the house and drive me crazy?
  • Is the noise level going to become unbearable and drive me crazy?
  • Are my kids...going to drive me crazy?

Are you feeling stressed already? I am. Whose mudprints are these?? Stop asking for food again! And the next person to slam the door is gonna GET IT.

Some parents dread the summertime because of these and many more reasons. Bored kids make for a stressful time. But if you're prepared with ideas for kids in the summer, you'll not only make it through, but you'll all have a blast as well. There are only seven secrets. Ready? Let's get started.

Surviving Summer Tip #1: Keep kids busy
(but not too busy)

There is a delicate balance between giving your kids things to do and over scheduling their days. Kids can be happy doing the most simple things—consider these:

1. Look up local community events through the city government or library...many communities offer FREE events (concerts, magic shows, presentations, etc.)

2. Sign up for a summer camp or class—these are usually not free, but there are many activities available, from sports to crafts to interests of any kind.

3. Get some arts and crafts supplies at your hobby store—take your kids shopping! Give them each a budget and let them choose some materials.

4. Get outside! Kids can discover the awesome great outdoors. Turn on the hose and let them make a mud pit in the back yard. Give them an area where they can dig. Go on a nature hike and look for things. Write them down or draw them in a notebook. Bored kids are the most creative when given an opportunity!

5. Arrange for playdates with other families. This can be time for you to connect with other adults while your kids play, or you could take turns with a friend so that you get some time off.

6. Limit screen time. If your kid loves games and/or tv, use it as an incentive for them to do other things, like chores or even reading. Unliminted screen time during the unstructured days of summer can yield poor work habits and a shorter attention span.

And speaking of unstructured, here's the next tip:

Surviving Summer Tip #2: Loosen up...
but don't ditch all your routine

Summer is a time in most families when things are less scheduled. There's less stress. Everyone can breathe easier and can enjoy time together. However, many kids still crave some structure, and abandoning routines altogether would be mistake.

If your kids do chores, continue with that expectation during the summer. Consider extending their bedtime, but still carry through with some semblance of a bedtime routine so that it's not as much of a transition in the fall.

Surviving Summer Tip #3: Do some family things together

This can mean traveling, but it doesn't have to. Weekly routines like a family night or an ice cream outing every Tuesday might be just the thing to encourage good behavior/chores/getting along.

Of course, if you are planning to venture out as a family, there are tips to make it more smooth. Family camping can be a blast if you know how to prepare and what to avoid.

Ready for the last 4 tips?

Go to Bored Kids from Surviving Summer