Skip to main content

Seven Summer Tips for Children to Recharge and Relax

Spring is the perfect time to plan your children's summer schedule. It is important that your summer plans work well with your schedule and your children's routine.  A full summer schedule defeats the purpose of children who are rested, academically engaged, physically moving, and happy. Dr. Paula Rainer says “planning out a schedule will help you to have a relaxed and recharged summer as a parent."  Dr. Rainer is an assistant professor in the School of the College of Counseling, Psychology, and Social Sciences at Argosy University, Northern Virginia. She recommends that every child have 30% family time, 30% developmental goals, 30% recreation, and 10% free time during the summer.

 Seven tips for creating a summer schedule that recharges and relaxes your children: 

Create your schedule:

1. Time:  Your children’s schedule has to match your availability during the summer.  Do you have to schedule them from 9 to 5 or just a few hours per week?  Do you have family vacations planned that must be included in your children’s schedule? Create a realistic schedule that fits into your time commitments.

2. Goals: When planning activities you might have different goals for each child. One child might need to improve in math; another might need to join a summer league sports team,  go to social development camp; or catch up on health checkups.  Remember to include some of these developmental goals for your child during the summer so they can be better prepared when the school year begins. 

3. Personality: Consider your child’s personality when selecting activities. If the goal is to have a recharged and relaxed summer for your child you need to know how much family time, developmental goals, recreation, or free time each child needs to feel relaxed and recharged. 

4. Family Time: The summer is a great time with a more relaxed schedule to create bonding time with each child with individual parent-child outings.  This is a good time to develop a closeness to your child by just being together without any pressure or agenda.  Choose activities that match your child's interest (i.e. shopping, hiking, cooking, museums, spirituality, movies, concerts, video games).  Let your child take the lead in choosing the activity and just have pure fun. Include this activity at least 30% of the time in your family schedule.

5. Development:  Developmental goals are important but you have to make sure that your child does not feel like this is a punishment over the summer. If your child needs improvement in reading choose a tutoring method that is effective but not intense for your child's development.  Select online, live tutoring, or camps that will motivate your child to understand the information without stress.  Sports training and summer leagues should build skills but not become draining or too intense.  Remember that this goal should not exceed 30% of your child’s schedule. Health checkups are also included in the developmental category of summer activities.

6. Recreation: Include recreation activities that help your child to stay fit physically while socializing with family and friends.  These activities should include walking the family pet, hikes, swimming, bike rides, dancing, walking tours of museums, gardening, and household projects.  All activities that keep the body moving are included in this activity.  This goal should be at least 30% of your child’s schedule.

7. Free Time: Use free time for your child to learn how to relax and recharge.  Free unstructured time should include taking naps, reading books, crafts, watching a favorite movie, art, and writing. Free time teaches your child that it is important to schedule a time to recharge and relax.  Free time should be included at least 10% of the summer.

The percentages of family time (30%), development (30%), recreation (30%), and free time (10%) are recommendations and should be adjusted to fit your needs as a family unit.

About Paula Rainer
Paula Rainer holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision and M.Ed. in Counselor Education from Virginia Tech. Dr. Rainer currently is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia in private practice where she serves couples, individuals, and teenagers. Her specialty includes autism spectrum, ADHD, anxiety, depression, couples, and school refusal.  She has served as both a director of counseling and middle school counselor in Prince William County, VA. Her current research agenda includes the incidence of depression and suicidal ideation in middle school and teenage youth.


Popular posts from this blog

Copycat Boston Pizza's Bandera Bread

Have you ever had a craving for something but then once you looked at it you realized, I can make that myself for next to nothing? That's how I felt last night I thought about ordering in some food but then realized I really don't want to spend any money. I really wanted pizza bread from Boston Pizza. So I recreated it and oh my goodness was it ever good. Try some of these great recipes too!  Pizza Bread Dough 1 cup warm water 1 tsp instant yeast 1 tsp sugar 2 cups flour  Seasoning 1 tbsp melted butter 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp onion salt 1 tsp parsley 1 tsp rosemary 1 tsp basil 1 tsp oregano 1/2 tsp sugar 1. Combine the water, yeast, and 1 tsp of sugar in the mixing bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt and mix until a ball of dough forms. Roll ball onto a floured counter top and knead for a couple minutes.  2. Put dough in an oiled bowl and let rise for 30 mins in a warm place with a clean cloth draped over top. While your doug

DIY Table Revamp - Guest Post

Hi all! I'm Tiffany from This Motherhood is Brought to You by Xanax and I am so excited to be a part of the Guest Post Swap and to be Amanda's swap partner! I love love love her idea on how to make indoor snowballs with egg cartons. I am definitely going to have to try that with my kiddos since my smallest one has decided that it has to snow for Christmas. Poor baby doesn't know snow is hard to come by in Alabama :( For my guest post I wanted to share a little DIY with you guys that involves duct tape! A few months ago my daughter's little chair that goes with her table she sits at every day tore and she made it worse by pulling all of the stuffing out of the seat! What started out as a quick fix turned into a great idea. She loved her seat so much that she has now decided that her table has look cool too so being the smarty pants that she is, she tore her table!


While shifting to your dream house, you may face a mountain of pre-move work, including downsizing, packing, hiring moving trucks, and other help. When you already have a list full of tasks, home improvements for the new house might be the last thing. However, handling the new house renovation before moving in is convenient for you in many ways. Planning home improvement is exciting and stressful both. If you are moving to a house that is not entirely ready, you have massive things to do. To make things smooth, create a list based on priorities. If you are shifting to a freshly build house, you do not need to make a lot of renovation, though you can add a little personal touch to it. When you make house changes before moving in, you can save your floor and furniture from paint spills. You will have an open space to plan the house interior. You can protect yourself and your family from hazardous odors and dust. There are several home improvements like removing popcorn ceil