10 Ways to Have a Better ‘Break’

Christmas presents under the tree

Ahh... School is out and your kids have two weeks for fun, relaxation, getting bored, fighting with each other and spending up to 100 hours on some kind of screen. Sounds like a wonderful 'break'! Especially because that last one - which creates crankier offspring - is the default solution for many kids these days.

Fortunately with a little planning - you can help avoid some of the vacation pitfalls and all have a better timeย for your efforts. Here is a list of 10 things (from easier to more planned) that can help:

  1. Have a deck of cards with paper and pen on the kitchen table
  2. Have baking supplies handy - muffin or cookie mix
  3. Have a can with markers and a pad of paper in plain view
  4. Remind your child to appreciate all those new gifts they just got by enjoying them and writing thank you notes (markers are right there anyway ๐Ÿ™‚
  5. Have your child make a list of what they want to accomplish with their day/vacation - Give themselves a challenge to learn something interesting
  6. Go to the library and have them check out at least 3 items
  7. Teach your child a skill - fixing a car or a leaky faucet, how a checkbook works
  8. Have your child teach you something - how to play Magic, how to ride a scooter, who the cool bands are
  9. Get out of the home daily - think nature, museums, library, gym
  10. Schedule family work/volunteer time - do chores together, help a neighbor, find a regular volunteer opportunity
Want more ideas? Download my Summer Activities for Tweens & Teens list at the end of this article and/or download this great list: 101 Screen-free Activities - presented by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and Screen Free Week

I hope you find something to make your break better. Keep smiling... (And share any of your pearls of wisdom below ๐Ÿ™‚

Annie Zirkel, LPC is a Parenting Consultant, Workshop Presenter and Author based in Ann Arbor, Mi. Contact her at annie@practicehow.com