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My Kids Are Out of School, Now What?

“I’m bored.”

“There’s nothing to do.”

“She hit me!”

In considering the summer dilemma of summer boredom and borderline parental insanity, I stumbled upon a treasure of a book entitled The Family Manager’s Guide To Summer Survival by Kathy Peel. Though originally published in 2006, the book offers some doable and fun ways for everyone to survive the summer.

Our summer bucket list from last season. Time to get started with a new one!

Our summer bucket list from last season. Time to get started with a new one!

Here’s a blend of my own and Peel’s no-nonsense tips:

  1. Hold a summer launch dinner or lunch to determine the summer bucket list
    During the meeting, talk about what ideas your kids have for summer fun. Keep in mind the social, physical and intellectual goals you’ve set to guide activities accordingly. Also, try to plan some activities with other parents so you have adult company rather than max out with all kids stuff. This is also a good time to cover revised summer rules, including nap time, screen time limits, sibling boundaries.
  1. Utilize and maximize resources
    Before overcommitting, come to the reality that you can’t do everything. To check off that summer activity list more efficiently, use the resources you have at your fingertips. This is especially important for working parents. Coordinate car pools with neighbors to camps, ask a grandparent to take the kids for a park day, volunteer at a church day camp (with your kids), or visit the local public library for story time.
Some serious summer sidewalk chalk action.

Some serious summer sidewalk chalk action.

  1. Schedule a 10-minute pick-up time
    My house looks like it was hit by a small tornado after one summer day at home, so this end-of-day disaster pick-up time is key. To cue pick-up time, put on a favorite upbeat song and watch the mess slowly disappear. This also teaches accountability and responsibility.
  1. Encourage outdoor playtime
    Summer is an ideal time to allow our kids to explore and play in the fresh air. Of course, set parameters for safety depending on the age. Also, set up an outdoor water station so kids stay hydrated and keep playing outdoors without trampling through the house.
  1. Go with the flow
    Don’t be too strict on the summer schedule or planned activities. If plans fall through, simply explain the reasons why. This will be a valuable life lesson to embrace spontaneity and change.

To get your family started on a bucket list of fun summer activities, check out OC Mom Blog’s 101 Fun Things to Do With Your Kids in Orange County This Summer.

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.



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One Comment

  1. I really liked the last one on your list – Go with The Flow. You are so correct in adding it – it’s summer and vacation time. Schedules get broken all the time. Sometimes the afternoons are so hot, my kids and I just lie around dreaming. if my sister’s kids call us for ice cream, there there’s a mad scramble to the car!
    This year there was a very serious request for a pet. We did contemplate getting one, but we were just not sure if the kids were ready. I wan’t even sure if I was ready. My mum introduced the kids to pet games, saying the game would help them understand the responsibility of having pets. Well, the kids are prompt at feeding this virtual pet. Let’s see how it goes. With school around the corner, our next summer might include a real pup. The it will all be ‘go with the flow’!
    Loved your article – thanks!

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