With summer coming to a close, children’s emotions can run the gambit. Some kids hate to see it end, begging for later bedtimes and longer days at the beach. For others, the lack of structure is wearing thin and negative behaviors start to surface. For children with multiple learning differences, the end of the summer is a particularly difficult transition. It brings a lot of changes – the pace of the day, weather, different friends and activities, altered morning and bedtime routines, even the foods they eat and the clothes they wear change. And change is hard for Complex Learners.
One way to ease the uncertainty the end of summer brings is to create your own family traditions that happen every year. Any number of things might work – the goal is to initiate something your child will enjoy and look forward to at the end of every summer.
Here are some fun ideas to get you started:
- One Last Summer Outing
Choose something you and your child love to do, or always want to do but never seem to get there! Maybe a drive-in movie or a beach day or an outdoor concert in your community. Shop at a local farmers market, go fishing, take a hike or have a picnic in a favorite park. Let this outing mark your last hurrah of the season, ending in French fries from a clam shack or a cone from your favorite ice cream stand.
- Celebrate at Home
Throw an end of summer party every year with favorite friends and relatives. Have your child pick a special summer treat or help prep supplies for a killer water balloon fight! If a party is too much, you can build a blanket fort with your family on the last Saturday in summer and read favorite books or tell tall tales. Get LED candles and light up your special hideaway. Sleep outside if you can!
- Quiet Rituals
Maybe you recognize the end of summer with a peaceful activity at home that you and your child do every year. Planting new flowers or starting a big puzzle that you finish together might be a nice way to mark the end of the season in a nice calm way.
- Memory Making
Create a scrapbook or a memory jar with ticket stubs, photos, shells, rocks, flowers or sand. Have your child pick special items to include in it. Take a family photo on the beach or in the backyard and frame it to see the changes year to year. Or choose a favorite photo from the summer and go buy or make a frame for it together. Summer may be ending but the good memories are still with you!
There are lots of ways to create traditions as summer winds down to help your child ease into the transition of a new season. Let us know what you do!