So our first week of summer vacation has passed, and I have to say, it has been overall a good one. The main reason was due to planning it out in advance and having lots of indoor and outdoor activities that Michael and I enjoyed to choose from. Not every Exceptional Child (or any child) loves to do all the same things. However, by having a few ideas that are simple and cost effective you can have lots of fun with your child and build in social, fine and gross motor skills at the same time. Some of the things Michael and I did this week included bike riding, long walks, yard work, swimming, and trips to stores to run errands and the library.
Now, not every child can do these activities easily, but there are great ways to adapt these activities. For children who tire easily, shorter walks in the woods or around your neighborhood can do the trick. For children who have more stamina, longer walks are possible. Some Exceptional Kids are great on a bike while others struggle with balance. In that case, it is best to start kids with tricycles or big wheels if they are small enough. If not, a scooter can be a good alternative to start to teach them about balance. There is also sometimes the possibility of renting adapted wheels to put on a bigger bike though this can be very expensive. Then there is swimming and yard work. Michael was active, doing relatively inexpensive things and getting fresh air all at the same time. We also did some yard work together and enjoyed going to the library to take out books and DVD’s.
The important thing for many of our kids is to keep them moving from activity to activity with a little bit of downtime in between to relax, watch tv, read and just be. Structuring with fun, local activities will usually keep anxiety down and also help them have fun and be naturally tired by the end of the day. With Canada Day around the corner, we will also be checking out local activities in parks like bouncy rides, face painting and other rides and things for a fun family afternoon on Saturday. Of course, for kids who are sensitive to noise and sights, try and go earlier in the day before there are a lot of people and longer lines for the activities. Watch your child for signs of them being tired.
Exceptional Parents, how are your child’s summer holidays going so far? How do you keep them busy while still getting things done? There are lots of different ways for families to structure days when children are not in camp or on play dates. In the end, it’s all about being organized, and going according to your child’s energy level and your own! Try different things. That’s the best way you’ll see what grabs your child’s interest. As always, they will be your guide. Until next time.