It’s that time of year again – school’s out for the summer! With summer break comes adventures and fun in the sun. But as moms we also know that transitioning from the comfort of school schedules to long summer days can actually be a challenge… for mom more so than the kids!
Suddenly the kids are always around. They have 10 times more energy than normal. Yet they’re also feeling a little lazy from the lack of structure school provides. Their sleep schedules are thrown off. They don’t have homework, instead they have more time to ask you endless questions. They have camps and workshops and play dates and a million other activities you have to work into your busy calendar.
Whatever it is…we know you’ve got this, Mom. And we’re here to help. We asked some real moms from the FabKids team how they survive summer break. Read on for their tips!
With school out, how do you cover childcare? Any creative tips for splitting time with partners or your community?
“Oye. That’s what I have to say. My son is going to a different camp every week. It’s gonna be intense. Each camp has different start and end time so me and my husband will be tag teaming. I’ve decided to give into the crazy schedule and just accept it. What else can I do?” – Molly Bellar, FabKids Creative Director
“This is our first real school summer break! I created a shared spreadsheet with all of my mom friends from pre-school, elementary and the neighborhood and we all synced up as much as possible on putting our kiddos in the same camps when we could so they would know someone. I found that super helpful! In between on weeks where there was no overlap we scheduled time off of work and are planning for mini trips as a family.” – Maggie Dawkins, Director of Merchandising
“I’m already chatting with other parents about what they plan to do with their kids this year or next. My son will have a much easier time with something unfamiliar like camp or summer school if he has a friend or two with him.” – Susan Bouchard, Production Director
For those who thrive with routine, and long for the Monday-Friday of the school year, how do you stay sane? Tips for transitioning from school to summer routines?
“I think it’s important to give your child daily tasks. I often give my daughter work book pages to work on during the day and a reading list, as well as household chores. Once those are completed for the day, then she is allowed to have free time. Which usually ends up being the whole afternoon & evening for play.” – Mirabelle Mojica, Senior Designer
“I’m learning that I just need to approach it on a week-by-week basis and try not to stress!” – Susan Bouchard, Production Director
“We chose camps that kept to our routine as much as possible, most running for a week from about 9-3 or 4. Though she’ll be doing gymnastics one week and swimming the next, I think the regular hours will help set a tone of normalcy! And yay, no homework!” – Maggie Dawkins, Director of Merchandising
It’s natural for kids to get a little ‘lazy’ in the summer, how do you keep them engaged?
“I’m going to have new books for them to read, different outings on the weekends. And since they will be in camps during the weekdays, I really don’t worry too much about laziness. Also, a little laziness in summertime is great – after all, that’s really the best part of summer.” – Molly Bellar, FabKids Creative Director
“My little one will be in camps and activities. BUT, the weekends and vacation weeks will still be all about sleeping in, wearing our PJs as long as we can and enjoying slightly later nights playing in the yard.” – Maggie Dawkins, Director of Merchandising
Do you worry about “summer brain drain” and if so, encourage any educational activities?
“A little bit. Since my son is just learning to read, I am going to focus on that during every evening. But just that. Having more than one focus for us is hard!” – Molly Bellar, FabKids Creative Director
“Continuing with the daily chores, workbooks and reading, however I always try to keep it light yet challenging, as I don’t want to burn her out or be annoyed. There are also lots of educational games where you can set it your child’s learning level.” – Mirabelle Mojica, Senior Designer
What fun activities will your kids be up to this summer? Summer camp? Art classes? Summer sports? Play dates?
“SUMMER CAMP SUMMER CAMP SUMMER CAMP! All different in approach. Some are science, some are art, one is all about dinosaurs, etc.” – Molly Bellar, FabKids Creative Director
“All of the above. Plus playing in the yard and enjoying some travel with their folks.” – Maggie Dawkins, Director of Merchandising
“We are fortunate to have grandparents nearby who are able to help. We have booked grandma for a week this summer and will keep doing that as long as we can. My son loves the one on one time with them and there truly are no rules at grandmas.” – Susan Bouchard, Production Director
Any advice for sleep away camp first-timers? How to help kids transition… and parents too!
“My older daughter’s first sleep away camping experience was fun. I was excited for her to go because I remember how much fun I had as kid. So I tried to share those experience with her. Unfortunately, she is the type that doesn’t like the outdoors. So her experience wasn’t as enjoyable. But she still had fun. However, my younger daughter, she is more outdoorsy and loves camping. So when it is her turn to do a sleep away camp, I am sure she will love it a lot more than my first daughter did. My only advice is just to make sure you pack their fav snacks, leave a little love note in their luggage and just try to relax because they are mostly likely having a wonderful time.” – Mirabelle Mojica, Senior Designer
Traveling with kids: keeping kids busy in long car rides or flights? How you get your kids involved? Tips to handle long days all together?
“Gosh I hate even admitting this, but when we are flying there are no rules – they got to watch anything they want. Pretty cool for them. It keeps them pretty happy! Even on a 14 hour flight! In the car we try to push them as long as possible before we take out the iPad. We make up games to play – like naming games, spelling games, I spy, etc. We also listen to movie soundtracks (Moana, Frozen, etc.) and sing along and talk about the scenes and all that.” – Molly Bellar, FabKids Creative Director
“I always pack ‘surprises’ for travel. New small toys or gadgets they’ve never seen, a new type of snack, a new water bottle. You don’t have to spend a lot, but novelty goes a long way in keeping kids interested. We also try to involve them in what is exciting about what we are doing, what to expect, what they can look forward to when we get there. The more they understand our travels, the more fun they have! Routines are also important and don’t need to fly out the window just because you are on a trip. When we are out and about, we always try to make sure we stop for snacks to get ahead of hunger grumpiness. And we always make sure that the places we stay allow for normal sleep routines. I think sleep is key to success for kids (and adults!).” – Maggie Dawkins, Director of Merchandising