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“…taking hold of the hope set before us…” Hebrews 6:18
Summer Activities & Structure
We all want summer to be a time of fun, relaxation, and family time. We know that, for some of our kids, the lack of structure during the summer months can result in chaos, controlling behaviors, and dysregulation. “To the extent that our children feel out of control, they will try to control” (Dr. Karyn Purvis). When we give our kids predictability so that they know what to expect, they can grow, learn, and feel safe. Here are just a few tips to help your family develop a fun family structure for the summer.
DAILY SCHEDULE TIPS:
Write out a daily schedule for a typical summer day in your home and post it somewhere where it can be seen by everyone (refrigerator, chalkboard). Include activities like meals, screen time, therapy appointments, reading/summer school time, and other routine activities. Make this personal to your family by including daily activities that are a struggle for your child. This will help you prepare your child for the activity and allow you to proactively address any of their concerns and needs.
When transitioning from one activity to another during the day, try giving minute warnings to your child, reminding them of your schedule. “In 5 minutes, we will be leaving the library to go home and eat lunch.” This is also a time when you can show flexibility to your children, allowing them to ask for compromises and giving them choices. “You are not ready to leave yet? We can spend one more minute playing with the Legos or reading one more book. Which do you choose?”
WEEKLY SCHEDULE TIPS:
Try assigning a title to each day of the week. You can name your days anything you want to fit your family, but here are a few suggestions:
- Library Monday – go to your local library and spend time in the children’s section playing games and reading books together; each child can get their own library card and take out books to bring home.
- Tuesday Trips – go on a fun day trip (zoo, park, beach, museum, aquarium).
- Cooking Wednesday – have your kids help you prepare and cook one meal with you (or all of them if you are brave!).
- Water Thursday – go to the beach or pool; play with a water table, sprinkler, or water balloons.
- Creative Friday – color or do a craft together, go on a nature hike and collect things to make a project at home.
This article was written by Samantha Fuhrman. She has a Master of Social Work degree and currently serves as the Director of Social Services for America World’s New York office and Home Study Coordinator for the New Jersey office. Samantha has been working in the adoption field since 2012 and before that worked as a child and family therapist. She is a mother of three children, and her family is in the process of adopting their fourth child. She is especially interested in coaching families who have children who are struggling with attachment, and also leading support and educational groups for families. Samantha is an ACT Team Member with America World, and is glad to answer any questions you have. You can reach her at ACT@awaa.org .
ACT (Adoption Coaching and Training) is a ministry of America World Adoption designed to support families through training, support groups, and individualized coaching. Explore ACT services on our website, and reach out to us today for a free consultation to make a plan to meet your needs.