Hopefully by now the general outline of your summer has become clear. You know whether you’ll be going away or staying home, and when. You’ve signed the kids up for camps and classes, and checked into the schedule at your local pool. Or perhaps you’ve simply let the grandparents know when you and the kids will be arriving for a much needed vacation.
Take a breath, pat yourself on the back, and start getting organized. Because, as every parent knows, the real work is in the details and logistics, the equipment, and the contingency plans.
Here are five things to sort out before June rolls around.
Camps usually require as much paperwork as schools, if not more. Medical forms, parent information forms, waivers and on and on. Don’t let all the forms (be they paper or electronic) overwhelm you at the last minute. Doctor’s offices get very busy this time of year, so give yourself plenty of leeway to get through all of the red tape of summer.
2. Summer babysitters
A problem with summer vacation is that many babysitters take one too. Your trusty high school or college student sitter may well be plotting his or her own escape from the school year routine. Make sure that you know what your regular sitters’ summer plans are, and start putting together a list of potential summer babysitters. If you are traveling, this is important too. Investigate local sitters wherever you will be: it’s not a true vacation without a night off here and there for parents.
Make a list now and try to get everything on it by the beginning of June. Remember that before your kids even have a use for many these items, stores will start running out of them! It’s frustrating, but true. Here are some of the things that may be on your list:
Oh, and all of these items will need name tags of some sort. (The fun never stops!) Sharpen your sharpies and stock up on Mabel's Labels.
4. Contact lists
Just because school is over doesn’t mean that the kids will want to say goodbye to their friends. Make sure that you have the contact info and summer schedules for your kids’ favorite playmates. And if your child is moving on to a new school next year (kindergarten, for instance!), do your best to get a list of a few new classmates who will be around to play over the summer.
5. Summer projects, books and movies
The beauty of summer is all of the down time; the problem with summer is all of the down time. Whether you see it as a gift or an affliction, the down time will need to be filled somehow. Time to make a list of projects, books and movies that you want to do, read and watch with the kids (and order materials if necessary). Having a few things to look forward to will keep everyone happy.
For those of us with children in school, summer means a big change in routine. I heard a mother whose kids have already returned home from college for the summer comment: “They take up so much more room than they used to!” Those of us w... read more
So much of the joy of summer is the ease of it. Summer days are languid and long; even calling them lazy seems like a compliment, a sign of summertime success. But amid that openness glows a little flicker of possibility. Your preschooler's mind isn'... read more