Happy summer! It’s already the 4th of July and the weather is to die for in the San Francisco Bay Area! Mid 70’s — low 90’s with a slight breeze and bright blue skies with wispy clouds — What more could we want?

The staff here at Parents Place has been hearing several of our clients comment on how busy their summers have become and that it’s stressful to manage all the different summer camps and sports. Parents are already longing for the consistent structure of the normal school day schedule!

Now that school has been out for a few weeks, take a minute to evaluate your plans for the rest of the summer and make sure they work for your family. We encourage you to keep it simple.

Here are 7 great tips for summer that might work for you …

  1. Preschoolers and Early Elementary School aged children don’t need a lot of variety in their daily schedule during the summer. They do best when they can spend time in a consistent and familiar environment. Find one camp experience that meets your needs for childcare and sign up for as many weeks as you need. There will be plenty of time when your child is older for going to a different camp each week.
  2. Sit down together as a family and make a list of a few local places you want to see or activities you want to do together. Let everyone in the family choose at least one thing and do your best to do everything on the list during the summer. They don’t have to be big events. A picnic at a local park, baking cookies, or a campout in the back yard can be a fabulous adventure.
  3. Let your children get bored. Don’t plan every minute of every day. Turn off all screens and give them the time to figure out what is in their house or garden or neighborhood that can engage them. Be busy doing a project yourself and don’t let them drag you in to entertaining them all the time.
  4. Help your children spend time with friends one-on-one away from camp or school. Giving children the chance to play with one friend at a time helps to develop good social skills and strengthen relationships.
  5. If you are lucky enough to have grandparents nearby or willing to come, let your children spend unscheduled time with them. A summertime visit with grandparents can create memories for a lifetime!
  6. Spend as much time as you can outside an in nature. Appreciate the beautiful area where we live and show your children the importance of physical activity and fresh air.
  7. If you travel away from the area, plan to come home at least a week before school starts so that you have time to get settled and organized before school starts. Help your children get back onto a bedtime routine that allows them 10 — 12 hours of sleep and the ability to wake up refreshed and ready for school on time. It usually takes at least a week to get everyone back on that kind of routine after a fun and loose summer.

Try to appreciate this time with your children while they are still home because before you know it they will be gone and then you really won’t have a summertime to look forward to! Enjoy!

Stephanie Barry Agnew is the Assistant Director at Parents Place on the Peninsula. She works with parents in groups and individually to help them through a wide variety of parenting issues, including discipline and school choices. She can be reached at 650-931-1841 or [email protected].