Strategic Inspired Healing

Empowering Transformations for Healthier Homes and Families

School’s Out for Summer

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While the children are throwing their worksheets and crayons all around the classroom in celebration of the end of the school year, parents all around the country are pulling their hair out, stressing about what to do with their children all summer without going insane.

Try to put yourself in their shoes (or flip-flops) and think about how hard it is to make the transition from such a structured and organized schedule to having the whole day stretch before them with infinite possibilities. I feel like we spend the first few weeks adjusting to the new routine.

Even though it can seem like a challenge to keep them occupied so that they don’t start whining that they are bored, remember to appreciate the season and the quality time that you can spend together.

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Here are a few ways to keep your sanity while school’s out for summer.

Enjoy the Outdoors

For those of us who live in the colder states, I know we spent plenty of time stuck indoors watching TV and playing video games. So now that the sun is shining and we can step out the door without getting frostbite, go ahead and explore. Throw some snacks, extra clothes, towels, sunscreen and a first aid kit in the mini-van and go see what your local parks have to offer. Give the kids their own hydration packs that hold water and a snack and they’ll follow you anywhere.

Click on your State to find a new park to explore.

Whatever it is, make sure it is time that is spent together enjoying some activity.

Look for local day camps, free activities at the library, family-friendly community gatherings, festivals, parades etc.

In the Capital Region? Search here by County.

parade

Plan Some Backyard Fun

If you plan an evening event, you can keep them busy all day with getting ready, decorating, making food etc. One summer I asked the kids what they wanted to do, and one wanted to use hammer and nails, another wanted to paint, and the third wanted a castle themed birthday party. So we combined all three and it kept them busy for weeks!

How about planning an outdoor movie night or camping in the backyard?

These are great ways to have some fun as a family or with friends while skipping the worst part which is getting everyone packed and in the car.

I love the drive in, but once you have a car full of kids, it gets hard for everyone to see the screen and before the movie starts they’ve lost interest in sharing their small space with their siblings.

How about creating your own backyard Drive-In Movie theater? Have them make their own cardboard cars and plan their own event, and you can keep them busy all week long with craft projects before the big night.

Or Just Keep It Simple. Take walks or go for a hike, swim, catch frogs, dig in the dirt, climb trees, read in the hammock, make a sand castle. If you are feeling competitive, you can play some backyard games like badminton and Washers. If you have older kids you can have them build their own washer’s game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvx7mR4Albw This one is fancy and uses PVC, but we just nailed some coffee cans into boxes that we made with leftover wood from other projects.

hiking with kids

Need a Break?  It’s okay to ask for help.

Talk to some other moms about a swap. She can host a fun day at her house while you have a day to yourself to do the shopping all by yourself or even just to sit and enjoy the sound of silence.

No need to feel guilty. The kids will have a blast playing with friends, and they will also enjoy having a happier mom.

Stay Healthy all Summer

It’s not necessary to hit the gym daily and drink green smoothies at the crack of dawn to be a super-parent, but exercising and eating healthy will at least give you a fighting chance to keep up with those kids. Try trading in fast food for a healthier option and go explore the local farmer’s market and ask your local farmer for recipe ideas.

My favorite summer recipes are those that don’t need to be cooked. I love to make cold salads that last a few days and you can grab them quickly. On the run? Just throw some in a wrap! Picky kids? Make a salad bar or buffet and everyone grabs what they like best. My kids will eat anything with dip. I make “crunchies” out of the stems of kale and cabbage and cut up some carrots and Kohlrabi and send them on their way. You can cut up a bunch at once and leave it in the fridge with some water so that is stays fresh. Give them a little hummus and it is a whole food that will give them the fuel they need for your next fun activity.

first day of school

Before you know it you will be Back to School shopping and wondering where the summer went.

Before you know it you will be Back to School shopping and wondering where the summer went.

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