While even Boston Babies has taken a slight hiatus this summer, it is time to get back to basics and reacquaint yourself with the hustle and bustle of the fall season. Sending your kids to class, managing a stricter schedule, and planning out your days can feel like a daunting task after you spent months enjoying a more relaxed routine filled with sun, sand and summer trips.
However, there is some solace in leaving those bohemian summer days behind you as your prepare for a more set schedule for you and your Boston Baby. While no one will deny the energy and excitement that comes from spending a summer with friends and family, many Moms will also admit that there is some comfort that comes from reestablishing balance and structure back in to their families’ lives.
So enjoy the rest of your summer, as you slowly prepare to fall back to basics this season with some helpful tips from Shari Kurtzman, Regional Assistant For Kids Only (FKO) Manger for the Sports Club/LA-Boston and Chestnut Hill. With a background in early childhood development, Shari will provide you with some ways to help support your child as they transition from a more relaxed routine during the summer, to a more structured schedule for the fall.
See below for best practices and enrichment classes that will allow your little one to still let loose, while they learn…combining the support and challenge required to help them meet their potential.
5 Ways to Ease the Transition into Fall for Families
Transitioning out of summer routines and into the rush of Fall can be stressful for kids and families of all ages. With a little bit of structure and preparation, transitions can be less scary and even provide more time for family bonding!
Use these five best practices to jumpstart your planning and embrace the change in season:
Talk it Out:
Prepare your kids for new routines, classrooms, programs and people by talking about the changes as they approach. No one likes to be caught off guard! For older kids, ask them what they are excited for and what they’re worried about. Take time over dinner or in the car to problem solve how they can deal with new babysitters or that new class. For younger kids, reminders and countdowns that changes are coming can help ease the stress and surprise of transitions.
Especially for your littlest ones, but even for the big kids at heart, calendars, routine charts and other visual reminders can aid in understanding and remembering new routines. Create a weekly family calendar together with favorite colors, pictures and decorations to get everyone involved. Review and revisit it often to help kids (and adults) stay organized.
Don’t Over Schedule
Build in time for kids everyday to make their own free play choices. Whether it’s reading a book, building a train or drawing a picture, studies show that quiet unstructured time is just as important as structured activities for kids to create experiences and support development. http://www.naeyc.org/play
Taking an interest and active role in your child’s activities not only gives you insight into what they’re doing, but also insight into what they enjoy and want to explore. Talk to teachers and coaches regularly and try to extend what your child is learning in the classroom into the home to reinforce information.
Stay Active and Social:
Just like adults, kids need social interaction outside of home and school. Talk to friends and relatives about programs they’ve enjoyed in your area and sign up together for one or two structured, active classes.
Check out For Kids Only’s Fall Enrichment schedule for ideas of programs happening in your area. Transitions can be hard. But with planning and communication, new schedules become the norm in no time at all. And kids keep learning while they are happy, healthy and engaged in their favorite new activities.
Shari received her BS in Management from Suffolk University and a Masters in Child Development at Tufts University. She currently coordinates the curriculum, enrichment programs and teacher trainings as the Regional Assistant For Kids Only Manager at the Sports Club/LA Boston and Chestnut Hill. Passionate about informal education, creativity and hands-on experiences for all ages, Shari volunteers her time with numerous educational non-profits. Follow her on Pinterest and Twitter for more inventive inspirations! @ShariKurtzman