Photo: The Little Gym

Your child’s favorite time of year is finally here, SUMMER! School is out, and so is the ease of your family’s regular schedule. Say goodbye to your school year routine which likely includes strict wake up and bedtimes, extracurricular activities, and homework. While the end of the school year isn’t all that bad, there’s a chance a lenient summer break schedule can mess with your family’s all-around mental health and well-being. Keep your family’s summer streamlined, and fun (and preserve your sanity along the way) with these summer break survival tips!

Keep a Consistent Routine

A child’s schedule typically consists of some type of routine; a morning routine, bedtime routine, and the routine of going to school, camps, or extracurricular activities in your area. Routines can help kids feel more secure, allowing them to have expectations about what’s to come. They also help to create a sense of responsibility and allows for an easier transition once it’s time to go back to school.

Eat Up!

Review the USDA’s healthy eating approach, MyPlate, with your children and help them create their own meal plans for the week. Work with them to choose from MyPlate and create  meals that meet all of the major food groups. Children who are involved in the creation of their meals are more likely to eat and enjoy, their meals (we’re looking at you, picky eaters!).

Let Them Catch Their zzzz’s

A good night’s sleep not only helps your kids feel refreshed but will also help them feel more alert. So, it’s important that sleep patterns don’t change too much in the summer. If they do have a little more time to play when the sun is out, remember to only extend bedtime by 30-minutes, so they don’t have a hard time adjusting when back-to-school time rolls around.

Map it Out

Create a calendar and map out activities for each day, week, and month of summer vacation. Include things like road trips, camping days, activities and outings, pool parties, and even down time. This way, your children can look at the calendar and anticipate what fun summer activities are coming up. Bonus: it will help keep mom and dad in check too!

By incorporating these snippets of advice into a child’s summer schedule, parents can guarantee that they won’t have to start from scratch once the school year begins.