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How to help your kids get through the missed experiences this summer

With the end of the school year around the corner, many parents are left wondering how they make this time a little bit easier and more enjoyable for their kids. We sat down with parenting expert Alyson Schafer to get her top ways for keeping kids entertained this summer and how you can help your kids navigate the end of the school year, especially if they're graduating. 

CELEBRATE MILESTONES AT HOME

It’s no secret that this is a tough year for many, especially those that are in graduation years of school. From missing out on an actual graduation ceremony to not ending the year with their friends, your kids could be struggling to move past this. Whether they’re graduating from middle school, high school, college or university, it’s important to have a conversation with your kids about how they’re feeling. While some might be upset about missing out on wearing a cap and gown, others might miss saying goodbye to their favourite teachers.

Try and personalize a way to celebrate their important milestones at home. Use your creativity to make the day as special as you can. Whether you opt for a big Zoom party with friends and family or make a video of compiled photos and messages, there are numerous ways to have an at-home graduation.

CHAT ABOUT SUMMER WITHOUT CAMP

For those with younger kids that normally spend their summers in camp, you’ll need to have a conversation explaining why it’s no longer happening (if you haven't already). Summer programs are what a lot of kids look most forward to so make sure you’re able to convey that you’ll be looking into alternate options.

EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS FOR ONLINE ACTIVITIES 

This is shaping up to be a very different summer than most parents planned. Without the structure and time commitment of summer camps and programs, you might be left wondering what you can arrange in place of that. For starters, try and your kids if there are any hobbies or interests they’d like to explore to get a general idea of new options. Some camps have been planning a virtual experience; however, don’t worry if your regular camp isn’t planning to do so!

One of the benefits of using technology and connecting online is that you can look up companies that are based across the country. Backyard Camp is a Canadian company that sends a weekly “adventures at home” programming for your child’s age and a list of supplies in advance.

SET THE TONE FOR BALANCED DAYS

While devices play a huge role in our lives, setting boundaries for the summer is extremely important. There are lots of resources for kids from virtual camps to apps that are great, but make sure you account for device-free time. Whether you have a nightly board game session or backyard sports time, incorporate different ways to get your kids away from screens and active.