- Maintain your schedule This is always an unpopular recommendation I make. Children crave a predictable routine, especially children with special needs. A predictable routine is regulating. But a routine doesn’t have to mean boot camp. A general weekly schedule could look something like: Monday- Library day, Tuesday- Park day, Wednesday- Excursion day, Thursday- Errands/ grocery shopping day, Friday- Movie day
- Keep moving! Specialists recommend about 4-6 hours of activity per day for kiddos. Summer time is the perfect opportunity to get our kids up and moving, since they are not sitting in a classroom. Playing at the playground, Starting your day with moving your body fosters mental and physical health.
- Limit screen time This is by far the most unpopular recommendation we make.The AAP recommends that we only allow 30-60 minutes of screen time per day, 2 hours for older children, and no screen time for children under 2.As tempting as it can be to just hand our kiddos the remote or an iPad, screen devices are overstumulating.Limiting screen time can decrease negative behaviors throughout the day, increase their quality of sleep, and help them to be more present in family activities.
- Chores Giving children responsibilities like cleaning up their room, helping clear the table after dinner, vacuuming, and helping with laundry are great ways to help children learn responsibly.When they are old enough to walk, they are old enough to participate in household chores.
- Stimulate their brain Give them “homework,” review skills they learned throughout the school year, read every day, explore special interests, or start a journal.The key is to keep them thinking!
It seems like our kids can’t wait for the summer break from school. I remember the excitement of NO SCHOOL! No waking up crazy early! No responsibilities!! Woo hoo! Well, now I am an adult and the summer is just another season that passes. When kiddos have a break from school it can be fun for them; but, challenging for caretakers. Here are some tips to keep your summer (and your kiddos) happy and tears at a minimum.
Amy Grant is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Certified Autism Specialist and Clinic Director of Therapy Center of Buda.
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