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EAST COAST MOMMY: Prepping for summer can reduce stress for families

Deck Dice is a fun and easy to make game that can be played outside.
Deck Dice is a fun and easy to make game that can be played outside. - Contributed

June is just around the corner, the school year is quickly coming to an end and summer is on its way. June can be a hectic and stressful time for families, so starting to prepare as early as possible can be really helpful.

The last day of school is a major milestone for kids, so it is important to give it the attention it deserves. I like to get my children to make cards for their teachers and start shopping early for teacher gifts. My boys also enjoy bringing little treats to share with their classmates on the last day of school. This year, they are bringing “crazy straws” that say: “Sip, sip hurray! It’s our last day!” Fun, right?

Preparing for last day of school traditions is also important. Each year, my boys get a new book to read over the summer, we all go for ice cream and they run through paper finish lines when they arrive home.

Another tradition that means a lot to our family is our summer checklist. Each June, we create a list of all the summer adventures we plan on completing during the break from school. My boys love creating our annual list of 50 easy and inexpensive ideas for family fun. We write our list, we print it, we hang it on our fridge and then spend the summer completing it. I highly recommend getting your kids to write a list of 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 simple summer activities. It’s a wonderful way to stay focussed, ward off boredom and enjoy some family fun together.

Our family’s 2019 list is going to include several ideas for moving indoor activities outside, because isn’t getting outside the best part of summer? We plan to sleep outside by camping in our backyard, have an outdoor movie night, and have at least a couple outdoor meals and picnics.

Outdoor games are also perfect for the summer season. This year, I created a giant dice game for my boys to play outside. I call it Deck Dice, and it’s based on the popular game Yahtzee. I purchased inexpensive and colourful foam dice at the dollar store, threw them in a metal bucket I had in my garage and created some laminated score sheets that can be used with dry erase markers. My boys are going to love playing this simple game on our deck with their friends.

Summer checklists can contain a wide range of activities, so use your imagination and come up with things that fit your family’s interests. Consider items such as: make homemade ice cream, visit five ice cream stands, do a science experiment, make a craft, have a lemonade stand, go geo-caching, have a kids-pick-the-meals day, raise money for charity, perform a random act of kindness, fly a kite, play with water balloons, plan a road trip and have a bon fire.

This year, I hope you use June to prep for July and August so you can relax and enjoy the lazy days of summer when they arrive. The warmer temperatures and longer days will be here soon.

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