This post is sponsored by Red Baron but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I don't know about you, but in my house, summertime is almost more chaotic than the rest of the year. During the school year, we have routines and predictability. While we may be busy, it doesn't feel as chaotic to me.
However, summer is a whole different matter. So many families just let summer be a free-for-all. While the summertime should be relaxing and laid back, I firmly believe that everyone in the family benefits from adding structure to the days. (At least most days!)
Kids benefit from structure because they have an idea of what's coming next or what to expect. Parents benefit from structure because there is less fighting from the kids when they know what to expect.
Here are 4 tried and true methods for adding some structure to the day without compromising that summertime fun!
Build in routines
This may include things like getting up at the same time, going to bed at the same time (even if those times are later than school year times), eating meals at roughly the same times each day. Going to the gym or taking a walk or some other active time at the same time each day. If you still have kids taking naps, keep naptime at roughly the same time each day.
I have found that the day just flows so much better when there is built in structure. Everyone in the family just knows where to go or what to do next.
Get exercise and outside time
Everyone in the family also benefits from getting fresh air and exercise. Everyone. It helps kids be calmer because they have burned off some of their endless energy. Exercise also helps adults by relieving stress, anxiety and helping to feel good and maintain weight.
Summer makes getting outside easy because the weather is perfect for enjoying the outdoors!
Take advantage of the weather by going to the park, going to the zoo, taking a walk or a hike, going for a bike ride, going to the pool, throwing a frisbee, climbing trees, playing in sprinklers, catching fireflies and so much more. The possibilities are endless, and watching kids play outside is rejuvenating for adults too!
Incorporate learning time and downtime time
Did you know that kids who don't do any forms of learning during the summer experience summer slide? That means that they end up losing some of the knowledge and skills they learned from the previous year in school. Come new school year, they are actually starting the year behind where the finished the previous year.
Keeping your kids' skills sharp is easy to do and doesn't take all that much time out of the day.
The summer heat can also be exhausting for everyone, so make sure to build in some low key time into your days to let everyone recharge. I try to do this during the hottest part of the day so we can be inside or at least relax in the shade outside.
Downtime could be the time for summer learning, or reading a book or even taking a nap!
Make meals low stress, easy affairs
I don't consider summer to be the time to make time-consuming, elaborate meals. There's just too many fun things to spend our time doing instead of taking a ton of time cooking or baking and cleaning up after. I love doing that in the winter. In the summer, I want to be outside and enjoying as much relaxed family time as I can.
My solution? Red Baron Pizza!
Pizza is one of those meals that everyone in my family LOVES, which means I don't have to listen to arguing!
With so many flavors to chose from, everyone is satisfied with very little effort or time dedicated to making the meal. In my book, that's a win-win!
Recently, each of my boys had a friend over at the house. Lunchtime came and everyone was starving, so what did I do? I popped 2 Red Baron pizzas into the oven. In 20 minutes, all 6 boys were eating lunch and super content. I was thrilled because it was a simple, affordable, EASY solution to what could have been a very chaotic lunch.
If you like the oven gloves, check them out here!
If you are feeling overwhelmed with having the kids home this summer, I hope you'll try these tips. They have worked wonders for me!
And while you're at it, throw in a Red Baron pizza for an easy, crowd-pleasing meal!
Tell us in the comments below: what is your toughest challenge when it comes to summertime?