Skip to main content

The Summer Balancing Act

Jun 26, 2014 03:20PM, Published by Cen Cali Life Magazine, Categories: Health+Wellness, Today



Gallery: The Summer Balancing Act [4 Images] Click any image to expand.



The Summer Balancing Act

by Amanda Nicolson Adams, PhD, BCBA-D

Summer is underway! For most kids, that means no school, water play to escape the heat and lots of free time. Although parents also look forward to vacations and extra time with the kids, some may be anxious about what to do with their children’s wide-open schedules. Fear not. There are many activities available that will leave kids feeling like they can enjoy a well-deserved break, while still stimulating the brain and body.

Kids can focus on things such as improving academic skills, honing athletic moves, developing new interests – all while enjoying a few months off from tests and homework. And with a summer schedule of activities all mapped out, parents can enjoy the extra time with their kids.

During the weeks you’re at home with your kids, consider setting up a kind of “camp” schedule that can help engage your children and offer a gentle structure to their summer days. Kids usually do better with structure and expectations; even the most simple of guidelines can help.

Your family’s summertime days may include the following:

  • One chore for the day that can be consistent or rotated (picking up room, taking out trash, caring for pets, assisting with laundry).
  • One academic-oriented activity each day. Many fun and easy science projects can be found online or at novelty shops, and it’s always a good idea to continue regular reading (maybe with a sticker chart for summer books read).
  • A larger scale project such as a garden, a scrapbook or recycling can be part of the summer routine that delivers a sense of accomplishment at the end.
  • Physical activity every day. This can consist of a romp in the park, a game of catch or a mommy and me yoga video. Anything that gets your kids moving and expending some energy. The goal is to create a schedule for three to five days of the week that provides established, yet flexible, time periods for each activity. Kids will know what to expect and you will know what to plan for.

Each family’s schedule will determine how many outside activities are possible for kids in the summer. Several organizations offer swim lessons in addition to dance, martial arts, art, music, drama and more. A summer class offers a chance to focus on developing an interest with fewer competing demands. This may be a great opportunity for a child to take a skill or talent to a higher level. Week-long camps are another method of presenting a chance to really dig into a specific skill. The Fresno area has programs available through the county, Fresno State, various school district programs and local organizations. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when deciding which program is best for your kids.

  • How much time will it take out of your child’s and family’s schedule?
  • Does your child wish to “try it out” or take a skill in this area to a higher level?
  • Are the instructors well trained and invested in the program?
  • Does your child need a break from the rigor of the school year, or is he or she ready for another kind of vigorous instruction that a one-track camp could offer?
  • Can your child participate in more than one kind of camp or activity in the summer?

Sometimes your children’s ages will determine how you schedule their summer activities. Here’s a breakdown:

Ages 10 years or older: Sit down and discuss summer plans with your child, including the points above and his or her interests and ideas for summer. Friends and peers will play a big role with older kids. Of course, preteens require more parental input than older teens. It’s appropriate to consider preteens’ suggestions – they may or may not be ready to make full decisions about their activities and schedules. Provide options and help them plan a great summer with your guidance and support.

Ages 5 to 10: This is such a fun age because kids are old enough to explore, but usually not old enough to focus on only one thing. This is a great time to choose more than one activity – some time at home, some time at a multi-activity camp. Look for a camp with an energetic staff who bring fun, and skill, to the activities they lead.

Ages 5 years or younger: Even for parents who can be at home, a camp for a week or two may provide some peer opportunities and a break for mom and dad. When choosing an outside class or camp, look for a schedule for younger children that includes two to three structured activities per day with time for snacks, free play and napping. Also look for flexible pickup times and a friendly, child-oriented staff. For younger kids, it’s more important that camp staff have skills working with young children over skills in the particular area or sport.

For siblings, summer programs can be such a great opportunity to participate in activities together, which is rarely possible at school. Your family dynamics and the ages and genders of your children will determine the details of these decisions. Consider finding summer activities that will allow your children to have some time together in a way they don’t normally get to experience during the regular school year. An added bonus is that you may have time to go for a yoga class or cup of coffee yourself, which can also be very therapeutic.

As tempting as it may be to spend every minute of the summer with your children, it might be healthy for everyone to have small breaks from one another. You may be an even better supermom or dad when you recognize and balance your own needs. 



amanda adams kids


  • ARTS VISALIA March Exhibition

    03/24/2017
    12:00PM — 05:30PM

    Throughout March, local artist Francisco Alonzo will be showing new works in a show entitled "Ico...


  • Arts Visalia Art Classes for Children and Adults

    03/24/2017
    12:00PM — 05:30PM

    Register now for new courses beginning in March: Adventures with Lines & Shapes (5 & 6 year olds...


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    03/24/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Family Movie Night

    03/24/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Mark your calendars, TFBC will be having an outdoor family movie night! We will be showing the ch...


  • Kino Hana, Cardio-Hula

    03/24/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    ALOOOOHA!!!! Ready to shake up your fitness routine? Ready to shape up and tone your amazing bo...


  • San Joaquin Chorale

    03/24/2017
    07:30PM

    Fresno Pacific University Concert Choir and San Jose State University Choir concert


  • Defying Gravity

    03/24/2017
    08:00PM

    Spring mainstage theater production at Fresno Pacific University’s Strasbourg Theater located on ...


  • Crockpot Club: aka "freezer meals"

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Get on track with meal planning! Let YCA help take the hassle out of meal planning & prep. Join u...


  • FREE WORKSHOP FOR BRIDES-TO-BE

    03/26/2017
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    WHAT: Local brides-to-be can get a free crash course in wedding planning. The event, “Put a #Has...


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    03/26/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    03/27/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Kino Hana, Cardio-Hula

    03/27/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    ALOOOOHA!!!! Ready to shake up your fitness routine? Ready to shape up and tone your amazing bo...


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    03/28/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Kino Hana, Cardio-Hula

    03/28/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    ALOOOOHA!!!! Ready to shake up your fitness routine? Ready to shape up and tone your amazing bo...


  • Known for its entertaining and tantalizing themed events, MOMS Club of Fresno North is pleased to...


  • A Night At The Museum

    03/25/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for an extravaganza for adults and explore the museums new science exhibits including the...


  • Crockpot Club: aka "freezer meals"

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Get on track with meal planning! Let YCA help take the hassle out of meal planning & prep. Join u...


  • FREE WORKSHOP FOR BRIDES-TO-BE

    03/26/2017
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    WHAT: Local brides-to-be can get a free crash course in wedding planning. The event, “Put a #Has...


  • Party for the Parkway 06. Meet an Alpaca

    04/01/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    MEET AN ALPACA SATURDAY, APRIL 1 1:00 pm KT-LEE RANCH ALPACAS, NORTH FORK PARTY 6 Have you...


  • Unique Perspectives on Autism

    04/05/2017
    06:00PM

    A mother of two boys on the autism spectrum joins forces with a developmental pediatrician, board...


  • 2017 Art Hop

    04/06/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    ArtHop occurs every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. It’s one of the most active and successfu...


  • An outstanding night of Art & Music featuring award winning and nationally known artist Kyle Edwa...


  • Arts & Hops

    04/06/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    FCFB is turning 100 and wants to celebrate this milestone birthday with you! Bring your friends a...


  • Boots In The Park

    04/07/2017
    05:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join Us For Boots In The Park On Friday, April 7 With Some Of The Biggest Names In Country Music!...


  • Breakfast with the Animals

    04/08/2017
    08:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join us for hot syrupy pancakes, sizzling sausage, hot coffee, donuts, milk and juice! This year’...


  • Kingburg Pet Clinic

    04/08/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Get ready for the next Kingsburg Pet Clinic, to be held on Saturday, April 8 on the east side of ...


  • Artist’s Event

    04/08/2017
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Do you love to sketch, draw, paint or photograph live animals? Would you love to spend up to two...


  • Eatin' on Eaton

    04/14/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Save the date! Eatin on Eaton is coming back Friday, April 14th. Food trucks will be out on Eaton...


WHO IS CEN CALI LIFE MAGAZINE?

It is the mission of Cen Cali Life Magazine to spotlight what makes our Central Valley a unique and integral part of the Golden State. To learn more about us and our mission, click on the "About Us + Advertising Link" at the top of this page.

Happy Reading,

Karen Maroot

Publisher


 

PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THESE COMMUNITY SPONSORS