“No more pencils, no more books…” Well not, exactly. Just because school is out, doesn’t mean we should take the structure and security of a schedule and routines out of our children’s days. In fact you can easily transition kids into a schedule that adds in fun time and keeps them motivated over the summer months with a little pre-planning.
Here are some tips on creating schedules and keeping your child’s routines intact this summer.
Support Cognitive Growth over Summer
Just because your child isn’t in school, doesn’t mean they should leave learning behind. Summer is a great time to keep kids mentally strong by continuing cognitive growth in math, reading and spelling. Summer learning programs as well as educational “field trips” will keep things interesting while challenging kids to grow their minds.
Routines Are Great for Physical Health
Getting out of the regular routine kids had during the school year isn’t just about their academic development. This is also the time of year where weight gain and inactivity levels increase. It’s much easier to sleep in, sit in front of the TV or computer for hours and even require less of our children since they aren’t in a rush to make the bus or performing in different extra circular sports. Keep kids on a schedule. Choose a wake-up and bed time as well as a time to brush teeth and stick to them through the months. It will also make transitioning back into school time schedules that much easier.
Special Tips for Children with Autism
Transitioning out of school routines can be especially difficult for children on the Autism spectrum. While they value the structure and tasks they developed during school, having that taken away for three months can be stressful and even cause some children to lose the tasks they gained. As a solution, find ways to keep kids on a schedule and learning without interruption. Whether it’s in the form of a special needs camp, social groups or activities you’ve planned as a stay at home parent, the idea is to help kids continue to feel like they are keeping a structured schedule and learning even if school is out for the summer.
Keep Things Fun
School is out after all. So a little fun on summer vacation is necessary. There are tons of ideas online to choose from that come complete with plans on implementing fun projects and day trips that will keep kids entertained.
Backyard sensory activities are also a great way to stimulate and evolve a child’s senses. Gardening, bubbles and messy projects where they can use their hands all help strengthen their sense of touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing.
Cheshire Fitness Zone offers children and adolescents of all ages and abilities physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT) and speech therapy (ST). We also have a physical therapy gym with an array of exercise equipment and a 32 foot long rock climbing wall.