Here are ten tips that will help ensure a happy and healthy summer with your children.

  • Maintain a Daily Schedule: Children do better with predictability and setting up a routine can be beneficial. This does not have to be as rigid as the structure of your child’s school day. However, it does help to mimic the sleep and wake times, give or take an hour. Meal times should also be consistent during the summer months. Make a plan for your week. For example, Wednesdays could be library day while Fridays might be a trip to the local park or water park. Whatever you try to do find the balance between work and play. Kids get stressed during the school year from academics, homework, clubs, etc., they need time during the summer to chill and relax. That does not mean that their week is without structure. Try not to overschedule and keep it simple. Remember to mimic home routines even when traveling to help keep children at ease especially those with social of sensory issues. 
  • Get Outdoors and Stay Active: Encourage your children to spend time outside during the summer. Physical activity is good for both body and mild. Go bike riding, play in the sand, swim, or perhaps go kayaking at your local state park. Exercise boosts happy hormone levels and neurotransmitters. These include noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin. Remember to plan for morning outside activities as afternoons tend to be rainy in South Florida.

Family on Bicycles Admiring the Sunset on the Lake

  • Limit Screen Time and Technology: It can be tempting to use the television as a baby sitter. When it’s hot outside and kids are bored, screen time has a way of filling the entire day. Limit it to certain times of day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time at all for children under 2 year of age and to less than one to two hours daily for older children. The more you limit screen time, the better children get creative in finding other things to do with their time. 
  • Don’t Forget to Read: Studies show that children who do not read in the summer can lose up to three months of reading progress and start the next school year behind where they finished in May. Sign up for your local public library’s summer reading program. Read together and also lead by example, letting your children see you reading as well. This is a great way for you to emphasize the value of reading.
  • Set Some Time Each Day to Have Fun with Your Child: Do at least one thing a day together whether it is working on a puzzle, swimming, playing catch, or stargazing at night. It does not have to be fancy or take a lot of planning.

Young Happy Family Having Fun on the Beach Outdoors

  • Chores: Children as young as two and three can take part in household chores and responsibilities. Summer is a great opportunity to add on chores or start new ones. Assign you child daily and weekly chores according to their age and ability. These can include making bed, setting the table, feeding pets, etc. Avoid fixing what they’ve done. Instead, teach them how to accomplish the task and enjoy their own success.
  • De-Stress: Most parents still have to work over the summer but attempt to find a way to dial down your stress. If you are stressed, most likely your children will be stressed as well and fight with one another. This may lead to conflicts within your home. You deserve a happy summer as do your children. Destressing often takes work on your part but the benefits are enormous.
  • Plan Some Family Events: Sit down as a family with the calendar and schedule some things that you really want to do this summer. This is not only limited to family trips although these can be amazing. Activities or plans can be simple staycations or home projects. Some examples are:

Family in a Canoe on a Lake Having Fun

  • Benefits of Camp: Attending day camp with help with social growth and many activities involve team building and group sporting events which focus on social growth. This is different then the school year which promotes individual growth and mastering of academic concepts. Your children will certain have increased exercise and decreased screen time as mentioned above. You have the opportunity to enroll them in different specialty camps such as theater, art, or specific sports that may expose them to something new. Summer Camps Palm Beach County Many of the counselors are young college students which allows them to have a different type of positive role model other than their parents or teachers, especially if your child does not have older siblings.
  • Make Memories: Be sure to take photos throughout the summer and make a Summer Album. You could create a hardbound copy online with apps like Shutterfly or create a digital album yourself that can be shared. Sit down as a family at summer’s end or perhaps Labor Day Weekend and review them together. Remind each other of the fun experiences that were shared or even the things that seemed like disasters in the moment but now just make you laugh.

We at Bergman Pediatrics look forward to hearing all about your summer adventures when you come in next for your annual checkup or perhaps your influenza vaccine in the fall! Send us a postcard from your family vacation or tag us in photos you post on social media trying out some of these tips.


For additional information on summer safety tips from Bergman Pediatrics, please click here: Top 8 Summer Safety Tips.