Five Fundamental Summer Tasks With Kids

Summer is a greattime to kick back and experience those coveted quality moments with our kids.This season is also provides helpful opportunities to accomplish tasks with ourkids that we can be tempted to put off during other times of the year.
Keep a Schedule
In order to make themost of summer, it’s important to keep a schedule. This may seemcounterintuitive, but a summer schedule can keep your kids from restlesslywandering the house or claiming to be “bored.”
It doesn’t have to bea strict schedule – it can be as general or specific as your family needs – buta daily routine helps your kids to know roughly what’s going to be happening.Sit down with your kids and chart out the important issues; for us, theseinclude meal and snack times, piano practice, and chores. Don’t forget tooutline specific times each day for summer reading, TV, video games, andrunning around outside with friends.
Local Reading Programs
Practicing readinghelps your kids stay academically challenged during the summer months.Fortunately, local and national companies have instituted summer readingprograms that offer rewards for completed calendars of minutes read each day.
Research thesecompanies with your kids – including Chuck E. Cheese, Borders, and Barnes andNoble – and print out the reading calendars for each. Head to your locallibrary and have your kids sign up with the summer reading program, which oftenprovides valuable coupons to businesses in your area along with a free book!
Important Appointments
Regular appointmentscan be tough to fit in during a busy school and activities schedule. I like totake my kids for their regular appointments during the summer months, sincemany places will schedule our family members during one block of time. Thishelps save both gas and time.
Two importantappointments to make for your kids include the dentist and the pediatrician.Routine dental exams and cleanings should occur every six months for childrenand adults, while appointments to the pediatrician depend on the needs of yourchild. It may be time for routine vaccinations or a physical, and the best wayto know for sure is to call your pediatrician’s office before too much timegoes by!
School Supplies and More!
Preparing for schoolto start involves shopping and buying school supplies, but more could be  required depending on the age of yourchildren. If your kids are transitioning into a new school – for example, frompreschool to kindergarten or from junior high to high school – it’s importantto keep track of any transitional activities. Communicate with the schools asneeded to keep informed of any orientation meetings for parents or kids, alongwith registration dates and required paperwork. If your child is nervous aboutthe transition, take a short fieldtrip to the campus and walk around, pointingout the main office, cafeteria, library, bathrooms, and classrooms. All of thispreparation will help when school starts in the fall.
Family Fun Time
Tasks don’t have tobe all business, especially in the summer time. Plan specifically for familyfun, using those special coupons or offers from local businesses through summerreading programs. Grab local ads that come in your newspaper or the mail forspecial deals on your local children’s museum, movie theaters, family funcenters or skating rink. Put these activities on your calendar throughout thesummer so it won’t pass you by without having some fun!
Kelly Wilson is abusy mom, former elementary school teacher, and freelance writer. For moreinformation about teaching kids to take the best care of their teeth, visit Dr. Lusch, Dentist inPortland, Oregon at Gateway Portland Dentistry.

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