Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Behavioral Intervention Group (BIG).
What’s Your Summer Game Plan? Get in Gear Now!
Don’t blink: school will be out soon, and summer will be in full throttle. Getting a jump on summer planning will help the season go more smoothly when it arrives, plus you can rest easier knowing that everything is prepared. The specialists at Behavioral Intervention Group (BIG) have some ideas to help you get in gear for a great summer with your children.
Grab a calendar and schedule a couple of initial sessions to map out the summer. Keep a dedicated folder or note on your phone, because you’ll unleash a flood of ideas and follow-up tasks as you dig into it. Here are some questions to get you started:
- What are your childcare needs throughout the week?
- What mix of people or activities can you use to cover the schedule?
- How should your children’s daily routine flow?
- Is summer camp or a family vacation in the budget?
- What are the deadlines for planning, registration, etc.?
Keep a running list of any special equipment, supplies or new clothing needed for trips or camp. Shop early to avoid that last-minute run to the mall during packing. Check medication levels, schedule appointments and order necessary refills well in advance.
USE YOUR VILLAGE
You don’t have to do it alone. Talk to teachers and other support specialists about their recommendations for summer programs and daily activities based on your child’s strengths and development goals. Speak with other parents you know from your neighborhood, your family or your child’s circle of friends to brainstorm possibilities for fun group activities and playdates. Connecting regularly with friendly faces in a relaxed setting is good for both children and adults.
To set expectations and ease the transition from school time to summer, start a countdown a couple of weeks beforehand. Put a calendar on the wall, and make crossing off the days a fun ritual.
Once you’ve figured out the daily routines, consider making a visual chart or map of the day. This will help your children see the big picture and rotate through activities. It’s especially useful for children who tend to hyperfocus on certain pastimes. You can build in incentives and rewards for staying with the plan.
Before any big shifts or new travel experiences, fill your children in. Walk them through unfamiliar scenarios in advance, using props, pictures and videos. Make it a game!
You want your children to have a great summer, and you should aim to have one, too. Enjoy being with them, but book a sitter and slip out every once in a while for your own fun.
Giving the captain(s) some quality time to relax and recharge is good for the whole crew.
For more information on BIG and its services and programs, visit big-br.com.
BIG is a CABAS® accredited learning center providing skills development, optimized teaching environments, and learning opportunities for children with autism and other developmental disorders. BIG also provides educational services, support, and advice to parents and families of children enrolled in its programs. For more information on BIG’s services, call 225.757.8002 or email [email protected]