Here we are! 2020 has not been what we expected it to look like. Everything from activities to relationships look different and are taking extra thought and purpose.
As a grandmother I am fortunate to be able to have my grandkids for part of the summer. I am all too aware that it is going to look different than most of my summers in the past have looked. I’ve had to do some brainstorming, so I thought I would share some ideas that can help make your summer as fun as mine!
Gather the kids together and have a brainstorming session. They of course will have different ideas on what sounds like a fun way to spend their free time, so parents, you will want to take notes and assure them that their ideas matter and you will do as many as your schedule allows for.
Share your ideas and schedule with them. This allows for clear communication and realistic expectations. It is important to communicate that responsibility is just as important as fun.
Summer is always a fun time, so take advantage of shops reopening and the park and beaches. This will help summer feel different from the last few months of being stuck at home during school.
If there is time planned with friends, be aware of expectations all around; yourself, your child and other parents and children involved.
Are the beaches still closed in your area? Set up a slip and slide or a pool. Water balloon fights are a must 😉
Set aside one day a week to do something nice for others. Baking cookies, sharing a meal or creating a fun project that shows you are thinking of them!
Serving in the community is also important during this time. It celebrates your childs’ uniqueness and thoughtfulness.
Getting dirty in the garden or in Dad’s tool shed is so fun! You can help them work with their hands and learn about a job well done!
Make sure to set aside some time each day for some down time. No phones, computers, TV, friends etc. This will help you regroup and will show your children how to listen to their own needs. Whether they’re tired, hungry or overstimulated with noise and busyness, teaching them to have downtime will only be helpful for their future!
**Ideas for down time can include reading, journaling, coloring, naps or listening to some quiet music that you help them set up**
Plan your outings! Just remember, wearing a mask is still required in most places. It’s also hot and hard for children and adults when you’re spending time outside, so make sure you take water breaks. It may also be helpful to find a quiet place while out and about where you can take off your masks and breathe in that fresh air!
Your child has a brilliant mind and the more time we take to understand what stimulates their minds, the more fun everyone will have!
Camping is classic! Whether it’s backyard camping or camping at a state park, pull out your marshmallows and chocolate and enjoy the stars!
Outdoor activities may include walking, roller skating, scooters, bicycles and flying kites!
Take lots of pictures! At the end of the summer, put your pictures into a fun scrapbook or photo book. (You can go to your local walgreens and walmart or use an online service such as shutterfly!)
Pick up some new puzzles and board games
Ice Cream is perfect for those hot summer nights. If you live close enough to walk to a local ice cream shop, make a fun family night of it!
If you were planning a trip, but had to cancel due to current Covid restrictions, see if you can reschedule for later in the year or for next summer. It’s always hard to have to cancel trips, but having something to look forward to can be helpful for everyone. Maybe you can brainstorm together and see if there are new activities to add to your trip when it’s time.
Your older children may want to make some summer cash. Help them put together flyers for lawn mowing, babysitting or other ideas they may have.
Check in at the end of each day. See what new challenges they are working through or conquered! When you’re having a hard day, come up with things to be thankful for and something to look forward to for the next day!
There are many ways to create schedules and expectations. One fun way is to put all approved activities and ideas into a box. At the beginning or end of the day, draw out one idea and set up the time to do the activity. If you need to schedule certain activities in advance, use the box on slow or rainy days. Making it fun helps kids and gives them something to look forward to each day.
I hope you found at least one new idea to make 2020 a summer to remember! No matter what you do, your children are sure to remember this summer with fondness and smiles! You may have to navigate big feelings and moods, so be prepared and remember to always take time to listen to their thoughts.
You’re an amazing Parent or Grandparent!
Enjoy your summer!
< Alicia >