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Archive for June, 2024

Tips to Help Your Child with Transitioning into Summer

Transitioning from the school routine into a summer routine schedule can be challenging for some kids. As a parent, you want your child to enjoy the summer break while also staying well-rested and happy. We want our kids to go back to school feeling energized and ready to learn. This transition can involve changes in routine, sleep patterns, and social interactions. As a parent of a child with unique learning needs, you want to ensure their transition is as smooth as possible.

Plan ahead with conversations, social stories, and helpful examples – The first step in helping your child transition into the summer schedule is to have open conversations about what the summer will look like. Depending on your child’s age and unique needs, this conversation can be brief or more detailed. Keep it positive and fun.

Adjust Bedtimes and Wake-up Times – Try to make small changes to their sleeping patterns every few days. Adjust their bedtimes and wake up times by 5-10 minutes to help their bodies gradually adjust to the new schedule. Some children may not handle changes to their sleep schedules very well, if this is the case, keep their sleep schedules the same throughout the year.

Keep a Routine and Post It – We thrive on consistency and structure. Having a routine can reduce anxiety and stress. Routine creates a sense of normalcy and helps children learn to manage change effectively.

Encourage Physical Activity and Independent Play – During the summer break, children can become sluggish and more sedentary. Regular physical activity is an excellent way to help you children regulate their sleep schedule, improve their mood, and boost their overall health and well-being.

Limit Screen Time (or find ways to use it wisely) – Plan a schedule that allows for enough rest, exercise, playtime, and learning time. Define the amount of screen time allowed each day and stick to it. Encourage your child to take frequent breaks when using electronic devices. While limiting screen time is important, there are also ways to make it useful. Encourage your child to engage in educational activities on the screen and model healthy screen time yourself.

Incorporate some Learning Activities – Summer is a time to have fun! So, when incorporating learning activities into your child’s summer routine, make sure that they are engaging and enjoyable. This does not mean spending a lot of money or effort. There are simple, yet fun, ways to engage our kids, trivia games, scavenger hunts, outdoor experiments, or arts and crafts.

Provide Healthy Snacks and Lots of Hydration – By providing your child with healthy snacks and lots of hydration, you can help them maintain their energy levels throughout the day and avoid the afternoon slump that can come with a change in routine.

Resist the Urge to Overschedule – Be realistic about the number of activities you sign your child up for and allow for plenty of downtime for relaxation and free play. This will help your child adjust to the change in routine and enjoy the summer more.

Use Transition Strategies Between Activities – and to Transition into the New Routine – Moving from one activity to another can be a significant challenge. As a parent, you should be proactive in creating ‘transition strategies’ that your child will find useful. These can include using timers or alarms that go off at the beginning and end of the activity, or visual schedules and symbols can be used to create a sense of routine.

Maintain Social Connections – School may be over, but maintaining social connections is still extremely important. Schedule playdates, check your community for group activities, enroll your child in a summer class or activity. This will allow your child to have fun and create new experiences, as well as build and maintain important social connections.

Remember to celebrate the small wins. Transitions can be tough on children, so make sure to acknowledge and celebrate their successes. Whether it’s waking up on time, trying a new activity, or making a new friend at camp, celebrate it!

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