With spring breaks coming to an end, summer is just around the corner. Although it may seem far off, now is the time to start planning and scheduling for your child to make Summer a success.
Tips for Successful Summer Planning:
- Keep It Simple
- Make It a Routine
- Use Structure, but Allow for Free Play
- Roll with it
Keep It Simple
As a parent, the thought of planning and preparing every detail for an event, vacation or entire season can become overwhelming. Take it easy on yourself and keep it simple when planning. Start by making a list of activities your child enjoys. See below for my own list of settings and activities for my child to try this summer.
- Playing outside (Chalk, Bubbles, Dirt/Mud, Water, planting, shovels & pail)
- Everyday Outings (Groceries, Park, Beach, Walk/Hike, ACES CIPs, Pharmacy, Clothing Store)
- Play with friends (Neighbors, Cousins when they visit, Park meetups, ACES CIPs)
- Special Outings (Museum, ACES CIPs, Movies, Bowling, Restaurant Lunch, Zoo, Science Center, Craft Store, Aquarium)
- Summer Camps – sign up for a multi-week or month series, enroll in the ACES Summer G.A.M.E.S program – where 1:1 ABA therapy meets summer camp fun and more!
Make It a Routine
Part of keeping it simple means building a routine and playing that routine on repeat. Instead of planning what to do every day for the whole summer, build a general routine and use the lists you have built to make it fun and interesting. When Summer arrives, you will be relieved to know you have got the routine in your back pocket.
Tip: Start by building in weekly scheduled activities that will not change through the Summer, like your ACES sessions.
- Monday – ACES Summer G.A.M.E.S.
- Tuesday – Exploratory Outings and/or ACES at home
- Wednesday – ACES Summer G.A.M.E.S
- Thursday – Errand Outings and/or ACES at home
- Friday – ACES Summer G.A.M.E.S.
Use Structure, but Allow Time for Free Play
Planning is great and all, but research will tell you that some of the best learning for your child can come from giving them time and space to play independently. Keep this in mind when planning out your summer activities. It’s important to structure activities, but also to include opportunities for your child to Free Play and explore.
Roll with It
Let’s be honest, things will rarely go as planned. There will be times that you will need to throw out your plan, be flexible and do something completely different. Hey, that’s life, it is also a great teaching moment for your children. So, take some deep breaths, be flexible and roll with it. The way you react to everyday interruptions and unexpected changes will show your child how to react when unexpected things happen, or they don’t get their way. How can I be so flexible? The key is to have a backup plan. See below for some of the things I plan for backup activities when things don’t quite go the way I planned.
- Rainy Day Plan – Couch Cushion Fort, Movie Day, Popsicle Bath, Balloons, Homemade Playdough, Balloon Tennis
- It’s Too Hot to Think Plan – Sunshade/Umbrella, Sprinkler, popsicles, Rock painting
- What Day Is It? - Indoor Playground/McDonald’s Play place, DIY Bird Feeder, puzzles,
- Is Summer Over Yet? - Visit the Pet Store, Go for a bike ride, Go to plant store and plant flowers
- Get Out of the House – Backyard Camping, Go to the Park/courts with Balls, Go to the Library, Sign up for an ACES CIP
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