Summertime Schedule: How to keep your kids busy and reduce stress

What are your kids up to this summer?

With endless digital entertainment options at their fingertips, it can be easy for kids to get comfortable in the A/C and barely leave the house. But with so many adventures to be had when it’s nice outside, that would be a shame. As a parent, you have an awesome opportunity to set some guidelines to ensure your kids have a healthy and productive summer that they can enjoy in the moment and look back on fondly some day.

A Memorable Summer

Children thrive on routines. While every family’s routine will look a little different, it can be helpful for everyone to have a consistent schedule to organize your lives around.

Here are just a few of the benefits that come from having a regular routine:

  1. Consistent Sleep – When a child’s internal clock stays “on time”, it helps them fall asleep easier and get a full night’s rest (8-10 hours)
  2. Household Harmony – Predictability reduces stress and anxiety for parents and kids alike. Make sure everyone is aware of the routine and respects it
  3. Preparing For Life – From grooming to work habits, children who practice skills–like reading for thirty minutes every afternoon or brushing their teeth before bed– are better at time management and have a greater sense of self discipline as they get older
  4. Gaining Independence – When children know expectations, they don’t have to be told to make their bed every morning or finish their work on time. They can do it on their own and feel a sense of pride and confidence from knowing what needs to be done and following through on it

Summer Chores

A major benefit of having the kids around all summer is the opportunity to lessen your load with household duties. If they have extra free time, spreading out chores is a great way to keep them busy, teach responsibility, and keep the house clean all summer long.

Here’s a great resource for creating a Chore Chart of age-appropriate responsibilities.

And here are four more fun and creative ways to incorporate a chore chart:

  • Chore kits: This much prep work and organization might not be for everyone, but it sure seems effective. Try putting baskets in each room that needs cleaning with a list of what to do on the outside of the basket and allthe supplies needed inside the basket
  • Chore sticks: A simple and effective way to make doing chores more fun for your kids. Have them pick one to three sticks depending on their age and let the suspense get them revved up for completing the tasks
  • Chore cookie sheet: Great for helping kids that can’t yet read because it uses pictures to represent the chores that need to be done

Chore door hanger: Perfect way for older kids to take ownership of their expected responsibilities

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