But one of my favorite things about summer vacation is how, for a child fresh out of school in early June, the break seems to stretch out endlessly, filled with possibility and promise. So how do we help preserve that “endless summer” feeling for our kids, even when supply lists and teacher assignments are on our minds?
Here are a few ideas: 1) Emphasize simple pleasures. Yes, most families like to plan a big vacation, and it’s nice to keep kids busy with sports and camps. But as I said in a previous post, you don’t need to spend a lot of money or jam-pack your calendar to keep kids happy during the summer. Some of the simplest pleasures are also the most rewarding – and can enhance that long, slow, lazy-day feeling.
2) Try to keep a free week toward the end of summer. When planning your calendar over the break, pinpoint a week toward the end of August to keep relatively free. Maybe you’ll decide to go on a last-minute camping trip, or maybe you’ll just spend those days sipping lemonade in the back yard. But having some unscheduled time allows you to slow down and decide how you really want to use the last week or two of the waning summer.
3) Summer isn’t over on the first day of school. Most kids start school at the end of August or very early September. But it’s technically summer for several more weeks – and even up here in Michigan we often have the weather to prove it. A weekend camping trip, boating excursion, or trip to the beach is a nice way to transition out of summer – and having that to look forward to can mean less of a sense of “loss” on that last day of summer break.