Summer is just around the corner and, while it’s a great opportunity for your little ones to take up a new hobby, try some exciting activities, and make fun memories, it’s all too easy to let it slip away and find your kids wasting weeks on end sitting around on the couch. We have some ideas of ways you can encourage your children to make the most out of the summer holidays so that you won’t be wondering where the months went when next September rolls around!
We’re big fans of getting kids involved in the kitchen – it’s a fun, productive way to introduce them to new foods and teach them a life skill they’ll be thanking you for years down the line. But it’s probably the last thing on your mind when you get home at the end of a long day during the school year! Summer can be a great time to show your kids the basics, and it’ll make it a lot easier for them to help out during the year. A great way to motivate your kids to get involved is to give them a goal to work towards – for an older child, this might be cooking an entire meal by themselves by the end of the summer, while a younger Super Trooper might settle for helping out with dinner every day for a week.
To start with, you can task them with finding some interesting recipes and comparing their backgrounds, ingredients and nutritional value. As the summer goes by, you can introduce them to new ingredients and techniques until they’re able to do it all by themselves! The really great thing about this is that kids are much more likely to eat food they’ve picked out and cooked themselves, which means it’s a really easy way to get them eating a bit healthier and thinking a bit more consciously about their diets.
Without the structure of the school day, it can be really easy to lose the sense of routine that helps keep you committed to your positive habits and plans. At the same time, no child is going to be thrilled if mum or dad gives them a timetable they have to follow for the whole summer – after all, this is meant to be their time to unwind and have fun!
The best way to get your kids on board and avoid conflict is to get them involved in planning out their own schedule. Sit down at the start of the summer and have a chat about what they want to get out of the break. Write down a list of new activities and experiences they want to try, encourage them to set defined goals to achieve by the end of the summer, and figure out what they need to do every day to reach those goals. If you get them thinking about how they can use the summer months as an opportunity to learn about whatever they want to, they’ll be motivated and excited to do more with their day, and it’ll be a lot less work to get them away from their phone or computer!
Keeping a regular journal is a fantastic way to practice mindfulness, especially for kids who might not have spent much time thinking critically about their thoughts and feelings. It can help them unwind after an exciting day, and it’ll give them something to look back on in years to come (especially when it feels like the school year is never going to end!).
Writing in a journal might come naturally to some kids, but it’s really simple to get started even if your child isn’t super used to writing – get them to think about their answers to the following questions and write them down every night before they go to bed. Remind them that it’s okay if they only have a sentence or two, as long as they write something!
We hope you’re gearing up for a brilliant summer and that you and your little ones have a fantastic break – make sure to check back once the school year starts again in September for new activities, games, resources and more!