May 24, 2010 in Features

Parents blog: Gearing up for summer


Brace yourselves, parents, grandparents and guardians. Within the next couple of weeks, your children will be out of school.

Are you ready for summer?

In the past, summer often caught us by surprise. We always had a list of things to do – from tending the vegetable garden, going camping, fixing up our century-old house, catching up with relatives and friends.

But we often went about things in kind of a haphazard, last-minute way. I thought we were being spontaneous and carefree, but clearly, we suffered from procrastination and lack of organization.

For many families, summer often means precious time together. So to make the most of the vacation season, I’m beginning to think it pays to have some plans.

Here are some tips from several websites to help families stay organized while having fun:

•Keep a family calendar posted in the kitchen or another high-traffic area to keep track of kids’ summer camps, activities and everyone’s schedules.

•Involve the whole family in making plans.

•Maintain a routine, even if it’s tempting to let the kids stay up late and sleep in.

•Have balls, bats and other sports gear ready in a convenient spot so that kids can easily head out the door to play.

•Pack a bag with snacks, water, sunscreen and other necessities so that you’re always ready to go for a hike, a bike ride or some kind of adventure.

•Collect rocks, shells and other items and get the craft supplies ready for rainy days.

•Make a list of all the activities and classes that you would like to do this summer – individually and also as a family.

•Make plans now with other families to go on a day or field trip, camping, share a meal and other activities instead of just talking about it all summer.

•Create a “Fun Things to Do” jar by writing down activity ideas (ride the Carrousel downtown, go on a picnic, bake cookies, etc.) on pieces of paper and pulling one out each day or whenever someone gets bored.

•Make a list of all the books you and your children want to read this summer.

What do you do to prepare your family for summer vacation?

– Posted by Virginia de Leon

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