Summer is a great time to get ready for school!

I know no one really wants to think about a new school year just as the current year is wrapping up, but hear me out. 

The summer is generally a little slower, a little more relaxed, and less stress on everyone as homework, deadlines, and punctuality dissappear. It's a great time to work on self help skills with our younger friends. 

(1) Visual Schedule
Try out a visual schedule for everyday routines. Some common choices are: getting ready in the morning, cleaning up when you get home, or getting ready for bed. A visual schedule lays out a few routine tasks that even very young children are able to accomplish on their own or with very little help. 

If you aren't crafty or great with computers, there are plenty that can be purchased pre-made. I found this cute one on etsy (not affiliated). 

(2) Plan Time for Clean Up
Less time running to sports, dance, school events means more time at home. Plan an extra 10-15 minutes during part of the day to sort toys, put away laundry, or put away dishes with your child. Practicing cleaning up when the stress is low will help them learn to do it independently - which will be important during the school year when your busier. 

If you are trying to figure out which things your child could help with around the house, WebMD has a list of age appropriate chores.

(3) Let Them Dress and Undress Themselves
Plan extra time for your child to get their own clothes, put them on, take them off, and put dirty clothes in the hamper. This can take a long time of they aren't used to doing it themselves. The good news is that once they figure it out, they get faster and the frustration goes away. It's a skill that takes time to learn initially that pays off big in the long run.
If you want to get really into it, you can have Christmas in July. During playtime, pretend to go in the snow, so that they have time to practice putting their winter gear on and off. 

There are songs that you can sing to help get them into the spirit of doing their own clothes. You could also read clothing books.

Wondering what to do with the rest of the day over the summer? Check out my suggestions here.