Summer Planning: Ten Ideas
Updated: May 25
I used to print out a monthly calendar of the summer months and assign a color to each of our two children. The calendars were pinned to the family bulletin board in our kitchen. I can remember feeling such a sense of accomplishment (and relief) when all the weeks were blocked off with something for both kids to do. Whether your family has two working parents or an at-home parent, the summer months can be a long stretch of unscheduled time. The key is creating a summer with the right balance of structured time and much needed down time. Finding the right summer activities can be stressful, depending on the ages of your children, their interests, and your budget. Here are some tips on finding the right mix of summer fun for your children:
1. Find out what your current school or daycare has available for the summer. For children who like to keep the same routine, spending some time in their current school or daycare might be the perfect solution. The structure will probably be a little different - more outside and play time for example, but your child will be a in familiar place.
2. Look into camps that your township or community pool are offering. These camps can be a great solution - they are local, some of your neighbors might also be taking part in them, and they will provide a week or weeks of fun activities for your children.
3. Investigate the sleep-away camp. I have friends who consider their time at a sleep-away camp some of the best summers of their lives. Your children will get a taste of independence and meet new friends, while you will get a taste of what it will feel like when they head off to boarding school or college.
4. Consider hiring a parent's helper for a few weeks. Having an additional caregiver at home, in addition to you, can be an enormous help. I've hired college students or even older middle school students looking for some extra cash.
5. Ask the grandparents or another trusted adult or family member if they want to take the kids for a few days or if they want to come stay with you.
6. Arrange playdates: you drop your children off at a friend's for an afternoon or the day, then you take all the kids for an afternoon.
7. For older children, a summer job or volunteer stint can be a great way to spend their time. Day camps are often looking for counselors in training or assistant counselors. Or your older child can be a parent’s helper for a neighbor’s child or children.
8. If you can take time off from work or are an at-home parent, plan a series of day trips to places you've never been. Involve your children in the planning to maximize their interest.
9. The occasional movie in the afternoon or a few extra shows on a rainy day won’t harm anyone. It’s a way to decompress—even our children need that.
10. Let your children get bored! This sounds scarier than it is - lots of creativity can emerge from boredom. My grandmother used to say, "Only boring people get bored!"
I hope you find these ideas useful. I wish everyone a sunny, healthy, and nice summer.
By Erin Brady
Erin Brady wears several hats at Bennett as Co-Director of Private Client Services and as one of our Global Team Leads (GTLs). As a GTL, she supports a consultant team that works with families headed to the greater NYC area, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Canada, overseeing their casework and providing updates to our corporate and RMC clients. She also serves as Account Manager of one of Bennett’s largest financial services clients in New York.
Bennett International Education Consultancy works directly with hundreds of families each year across the globe. We support families by helping them make informed decisions about the best-fit schools for their children; with our guidance, they secure placement in preschools, private day schools, public/state schools, boarding schools, colleges & universities, including schools with particular programs, such as special needs support.