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How to Ensure Your Kids Have a Great Summer

You rush to school early to pick up your kids at early dismissal for the last time this year, until the new school year starts in the fall. As you hold the door open for your over-excited children, you realize that you are not prepared for the summer break to come. Summer vacation has crept up on you, and your already busy schedule will now be even busier. 

You are not alone. Parents all across the country experience the same moment of panic when they fully realize that their wonderful children that they love dearly are now home full-time for at least 6 to 8 weeks before school starts again. 

My wife and I raised three children, and when the children were young, she wished to stay home with them even as she attended college, and it was still challenging for us at times during the summer. I can't imagine what it is like for a family where both parents work or there is only one parent responsible for the children.

Summer vacation is a very important time in a child’s year, and no matter the family circumstances, it is imperative that parents take the time and effort to work out a plan to provide opportunities for their children to have a great summer. 

The Single Most Important Thing to Do to Ensure Your Kids Have a Great Summer

I will discuss some practical ideas to ensure your kids have a great summer in a minute, but it does not matter what you plan for your children during the summer, how much money or lack of money you have to invest in summer activities, or how many camps they go to, play dates they have, babysitters you line up or creative events you do. If you don't do this one thing, all the others will fall away and quickly become a forgotten memory.

Cherish your children for the gift that they are, give them unconditional love, appreciate their lives as part of your own, and understand that before not too long, they will be adults, so take the time that you have with them and totally fill that time in shared experiences.

Now with that being said, let’s look at some practical ideas that can help you ensure your kids have a great summer.

Tips on Creative Ideas to Ensure Your Kids Have a Great Summer

Although some of the best summer fun for kids and parents is unplanned, the reality is those precious, spontaneous moments are few and far between.  

The summer can be long; however, to make it go smoothly with happy memories at the end, parents need to line up multiple summer childcare options around a schedule of vacation dates and activities while at the same time trying to infuse some summer fun into their kids’ days.

That's a tall order, so it’s best to start the summer planning as soon as you can. This step-by-step guide for summer planning will help you get started.


1. Plan on a week-by-week basis 

Print blank calendar pages to use as a rough draft. Begin summer planning with events that have specific dates. Fill in the calendar with any planned vacations, camps, and holidays that you already know. Also, add any important work-related dates that need to be included.

2. Set summer goals

Goals should be both for work and family. Factor in family vacations and expectations the children have for their time off from school.  

3. Search for summer child care in advance if needed

Child care is one of the single most stressful decisions that parents will make. Keep in mind that every other working parent is also trying to secure childcare for the summer. Start early, and utilize family or responsible high school or college students if available. Summer camp events may be an option as well if financially feasible.

4. If you can, adjust your work schedule

If you've exhausted affordable childcare options, then take a look at your work schedule instead. The next step may be to cut hours or rearrange your schedule to work evenings and weekends. Or, maybe your partner can arrange a more flexible schedule for the summer. 

Consider, too, whether taking a working vacation (where you work and the kids play) is an option. This scenario breaks up the monotony of spending the entire summer at home for both you and the kids.

5. Plan day-to-day activities

Think about how to move toward those goals you've set as you plan the days.  Remember, you don't have to have elaborate plans to make memories. 

Sitting down with your kids and playing with them can have huge benefits. The things they learn from playing with you are endless. 

Consider painting or making a craft together. Take them to the library or hiking or bike riding. Play at the park or have a picnic in your backyard. The important thing is to spend purposeful time together and create wonderful memories.

6. Include your children in the activity planning process

Remember that no matter how young your children are, they have plans of their own for the summer. You should actively engage them in the planning process so they will feel important and know that their own interests are valued.

7. Research local summer events and programs that may be available in advance

There are a multitude of summer camps that are specifically for children of all ages. However, advanced research into these programs is a must for parents, so suitable camps can be found that are within a family's budget. 

As you plan your summer with the kids, go easy on yourself. Leave some room in your schedule for spontaneous activities. Trying to plan every minute of the summer is not only time-consuming and exhausting, but it also can hem you in too much. 

And most importantly, remember the most important thing that you can do:

Cherish your children for the gift that they are, give them unconditional love, appreciate their lives as part of your own, and understand that before not too long, they will be adults, so take the time that you have with them and totally fill that time in shared experiences.

If you would like to know more about how your kids can experience High Peak Camp this summer, please reach out to us today!