When my daughter was a little younger, we took her to see a fireworks show on the Fourth of July. It was an amazing show and my breath was taken away. I looked down to see if my daughter was enjoying it and she was literally playing with a firework app on the iPad, missing the beauty right in front of her. It was that moment that something clicked in me. I wanted my little ones to have a wonderful and fun summer, but I wanted to make sure that summer was full of diverse things.
We implemented a summer program from my kids and it has made a world of difference. Our house is cleaner, our kids our happier and they are able to experience more than just the screen of their iPad. In fact? Most days they get so caught up in the other things that they forget about the screen time all together. We don’t mind them playing their devices, as long as they are doing other things too. This is what we have them do every day in the summer.
I have put our program on a printable with three different styles, so you can print it out and use it with your kiddos this summer. Download all three below.
1. Have You Read for 20 Minutes. Did you know that making sure your kids read every day during the summer is one of the best ways to prevent the summer slide? The best part? They benefit no matter what they are reading, so let them pick up Goosebumps or even comic books. If you reader loves Harry Potter, check out the illustrated version. It is gorgeous!
2. Have you written in your summer journal? We started writing in journals because my daughter’s school requires it. We have found it is so much fun to read back later what happened during the summer. Bonus points for helping hand writing.
3. Is Your Room Clean? What mom doesn’t wish for a cleaner house instead of a messier house in the summer? This helps us keep a handle on the mess.
4. Have you done something for someone else? Sometimes this is a chore for mom. Sometimes it is reading a book to a little sister. I just love the compassion and sense of service this has instilled in my kids.
5. Have you done something creative? We count almost anything as creative time. Building with blocks, playing with Goldiblocks (a creative engineering toy), playing Legos, dress ups. Anything that gets them building or playing pretend.
6. Have you played outside? I still can’t figure out why you would want a screen if you could swim or jump on a trampoline and honestly? Once they go outside, this is often where they forget they wanted to play with a screen in the first place.
7. Have you made your bed? This goes along with cleaning your room, but often in our house, this step gets missed.
8. Is your Summer Bridge Done? One thing I didn’t included on the printable that we also require is pages out of Summer Bridge every day. It is a book that has simple worksheets to go over things your children learned in school to help them remember it by the time the next school year comes. The workbooks are really affordable and we have loved them.
These simple things have changed our summers completely. I feel like summers are more like the ones I had as a kid now and less filled with TV shows and video games. Get the free printables to post where your kids can see them below.
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