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  • Dr. Amber Ufford

Helping Your Child Transition from School to Summer: Tips for a Smooth Transition

Updated: Jul 3

As the school year winds down and summer approaches, parents often find themselves faced with the challenge of helping their children transition from the structured routines of school to the more relaxed, unstructured days of summer. This shift can be both exciting and daunting for children and parents alike. As a parent myself, I understand the importance of a smooth transition. Here to are 7 tips to help make the transition from school to summer as smooth as possible:

1. Maintain a Routine

While summer is a time for relaxation and fun, maintaining a routine can provide children with a sense of security and predictability. Try to keep consistent wake-up and bedtimes, meal times, and some structured activities throughout the day. A routine doesn’t have to be rigid; it can include flexible time slots for different activities like reading, playing, and chores.


Tip: Create a summer schedule together with your child. This can include a mix of structured activities like sports, arts and crafts, and free time for them to explore their interests.


2. Balance Screen Time

With more free time, children might be tempted to spend excessive hours in front of screens. While technology can be a great tool for learning and entertainment, it’s essential to balance screen time with other activities.


Tip: Encourage outdoor play, reading, and family activities. Set clear boundaries for screen time and stick to them. Consider using apps or tools to help manage screen time effectively.


Children lined up and blowing bubbles while under a tree

3. Set Goals for the Summer

Setting goals gives children a sense of purpose and achievement. These goals can be academic, personal, or skill-based. Whether it’s learning a new instrument, reading a certain number of books, or improving their swimming skills, having goals to work towards can keep children motivated and engaged.


Tip: Involve your child in setting these goals. Discuss what they want to achieve and how they plan to work towards it. This encourages responsibility and self-motivation.


4. Encourage Social Interaction

Summer can be a great time for children to strengthen their social skills and build friendships. Encourage playdates, group activities, and family outings. Social interactions help children develop important social and emotional skills and can make the summer more enjoyable.


Tip: Arrange regular get-togethers with friends or enroll your child in summer camps or community programs where they can meet new people and make friends.


a group of children are playing tug-of-war and laughing

5. Foster Independence

Summer is an excellent opportunity to foster independence in your child. Allow them to make choices about their activities and take on responsibilities appropriate for their age. This helps build confidence and decision-making skills.


Tip: Give your child age-appropriate chores and responsibilities. Allow them to plan a family activity or manage their time for certain tasks. This teaches them the value of independence and responsibility.


6. Keep Learning Alive

Learning doesn’t have to stop during the summer. Find ways to make learning fun and engaging. This can include educational trips, science experiments at home, or exploring new hobbies and interests.


Tip: Visit museums, nature reserves, or historical sites. Encourage your child to keep a journal of their summer adventures or start a small project based on their interests.


An adult and a group of children are looking at dinosaur fossils at a museum

7. Communicate Openly

Open communication is key to understanding your child’s needs and feelings during the transition. Encourage your child to express their thoughts and concerns about the shift from school to summer. Listen actively and provide reassurance and support.


Tip: Have regular family meetings to discuss plans, address concerns, and share highlights of the week. This fosters a supportive and open family environment.


Conclusion

The transition from school to summer can be a wonderful opportunity for growth, relaxation, and family bonding. By maintaining a routine, setting goals, balancing screen time, encouraging social interaction, fostering independence, keeping learning alive, and communicating openly, you can help your child navigate this change smoothly and enjoy a fulfilling summer. Remember, every child is unique, so be patient and flexible as you find what works best for your family.


Children run into the sea while carrying inflatable toys


If you have any concerns or need additional support, I am here to help. Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, and enjoyable summer!

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