Summer is the time where I let to press the reset button, take a deep breath and enjoy my little ones. I also try not to be so laid back that they lose track of any sort of structure. I do try to keep an adequate schedule that will enable them to enjoy the summer and also get enough rest, eat well, stay active and prepare them for the next grade level.
Here are some of the things I will be sticking to this summer with my mini tribe:
1. Encourage exercise, whether swimming, hiking, surfing, walking or running. Have your kids staying active is the goal. For tips on what you could do click here.
2. Stay Hydrated. Your body requires hydration and when you are in heat it requires even more. The trick is to hydrate before, during and after your kids activities. I found some great tips on staying cool on the CDC website. One thing you want to do as a parent is have your kids stay away from caffeinated beverages. They only dehydrate your child. Fill up a canteen with some spring water, which is the best hydration for your kids and be on the go!
As a mom, I am loving the Klean Kanteen, which also comes in sizes for the little ones.
3. Healthy Snacks: Trust me I know its hard to not to give in to the kids when it comes to snacks, but I can promise you I recognize that I am in charge and 100% of the time you can count on me packing a bag of healthy snacks for my kids. Some things I always pack are grapes, sliced apples, bananas, crackers, and kid protein bars. I find a lot of stuff on Amazon and thought I would share.
My kids and I love these gluten-free crackers.
And for me, I love love these nutritional shakes when I am on the go. Truly delicious.
4. Keeping structure with a bedtime. I can’t begin to tell you how many of my friends are exhausted because summer arrives and they immediately throw their bedtime routines out the window. For us, that’s not happening. Now that my kids are 8, 7 and 3 I truly know they thrive with a structured bedtime routine. And we parents thrive with a little downtime at night. I never really understood how people let their little ones stay up till midnight during the summer. We are sticklers with this one routine and it works for our family. Bedtime is usually around 8 pm during school days and in the summer at the most we let it stretch to 830, 845. I have had numerous friends ask me how I do it. I simply tell them I am in charge, not my kids. We set the rules, we set the structure, and if we let them be in charge they would be up all night eating a sugar infused diet.
5. Reading: I think this one is something we all need to follow. As parents, we need to have our kids reading all summer long. If we don’t, them by the time they hit middle school they would lose a total of two years of reading. We are taking a trip to our local library and I am letting them choose books to read. When I was a school teacher in New York City, I could remember having to re-teach material they forgot over the summer. I also noted as a teacher that kids that read 4 or more books over the summer months had better test scores when it came to reading comprehension. I also want them to enjoy reading and not complain when they do it. I am going search high and low to find awesome, fun books that really peak their interest.
Here are a few books I found on Amazon for your little ones.
Overall, we are looking forward to our lazy summers, but a little structure doesn’t mean it won’t be a blast. I would love to hear from you! Are you trying to get them to bed at a normal time or are you throwing the towel in…. let me know!