The summer is a time to kick back, relax and have fun! The best way to keep children active and healthy in the summer is to implement a schedule. Summer schedules can look differently for every child, but it is essential that they have a routine, so they don’t lose their sense of time and create bad habits. (On Thursday, an 8-year-old asked me if it was Saturday. The goal here is to avoid that question for the next ten weeks. 😊) Schedules help children regulate sleep patterns and make them more ready for school in the fall. If you don’t want to stay on a bedtime routine, I highly recommend starting back up two weeks before school starts in September. Sticking to a sleep schedule should also permit adults some time for themselves. Routine helps children maintain consistency and know what’s expected of them.
Not sure what to do with the kids if they don’t attend camp? Tired of looking at the same 4 walls?
Choose a Theme for the day!
Music Mondays – Practice day if the child plays an instrument or maybe look into music lessons if they want to learn. Find somewhere to listen to local music. Find a music class. If you are down the shore around Sea Isle, check out their Monday Concert Series.
Try a new activity – Explore a new activity. A new activity doesn’t only have to be for a child, how about something you’ve always wanted to do? Jumping in the ocean? Horseback riding? Paddleboarding? An art project? Going on the rides at the boardwalk? It’s amazing how children help us come out of our comfort zones if we let them.
Water Wednesday – water slides, water tables, pools, splash pads, lake day, beach day, water balloons, slip and slide, inflatable pools, sprinklers
Throw some dice – Boardgame day. Monopoly, Sorry, Yahtzee, Shut the Box
Throw some balls – Basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball
Farm Friday – visit a NJ farm for activities or pick you own fruits and veggies. After all we are the Garden State! Plus, you will be encouraging healthy eating, being outdoors, educating young minds on where food comes from as well as supporting the local economy. There are too many amazing farms to list. Here is a small list of farms throughout the state:
4 Summer Tips to Keep in Mind
- Keep your kids active: Children should be moving, so find ways to help them be outside as much as possible. Some ideas include water play, obstacle courses, jump ropes, basketball, soccer, swimming or biking. If your child or a child you are caring for needs a bike, there are local Facebook groups called Buy Nothing (insert town or area here) all over New Jersey. There are some very generous people out there willing to pass along a bike.
- Make sure your kids get enough sleep: The summer can seem like an endless stretch of long days, so try to make sure that the kids get a full amount of recommended sleep every night. According to Nemours Children’s Health, children between 5-13 years old should be getting 9-12 hours of sleep per night and children between 14 -17 years old need 8-10 hours of sleep per night. This doesn’t mean the teen in the house can’t sleep in and follow their own circadian clock of waking up by 9:00 am instead of 6:00 am like they do for school. There is research by the American Medical Association and American Academy of Pediatrics encouraging law makers to push back the high school start times. (To learn more about teens sleep habits and school, see the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, N.J. high schools would start later in the day, NJ Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics).
- Limit screen time: Kids should be outside more than inside, however, keeping their exposure to screens to a minimum is important too. If they are on screens, encourage them to be creative. For instance, if you have an ipad, check out the apps procreate and imovie. Some schools, let children keep their chromebooks over the summer where they can use online reading and math programs to keep them from summer learning loss. Or, stop at the local library where not only are there books, but often there is some great summer programming. Many libraries have a reward program for summer reading with prizes like free ice cream or water ice. Another idea is to find a Little Library where you can take or donate. To find one, try this website Little Free Library Map – Little Free Library.
- Stop worrying: At the end of the day, the most important thing is to have fun!
NJ farm, south jersey farm, north jersey farm, central jersey farm, summer schedule, help with summer schedule, kids summer schedule, children’s summer schedule, weekly theme ideas, daily schedule, daily routine, children’s routine, children’s schedule, NJ little library, south jersey little library, DCPP, DYFS, department of child protection and permanency, grandparents, resource parents, foster parents, fostering, foster-to-adopt, adopt, family law, NJ lawyer, new jersey, DCPP help, consultation, Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, Warren, grandparent raising grandchildren