Summer & Kids - Erin and Aaron RE/MAX Hallmark Chay Realty Brkg.

Erin and Aaron RE/MAX Hallmark Chay Realty Brkg.

REALTOR®️ | Entrepreneur | MCNE Specialist | SRS | MRP

Friday, 23 June 2017

Summer & Kids

As the end of another school year quickly approaches, I look ahead to the summer I'll spend with my three children. I feel so fortunate to have this time with them, the lazy hazy days of summer. Where we lounge around in pjs far too late, eat breakfast in the backyard, and then spend most of the day playing. This year I hope to be more organized with planning play dates and day trips, as last year I tried to cram loads of fun into the last few weeks of summer. This summer will be bitter sweet for me, as it's the last time I have with my daughter home before she begins her educational journey. As the baby of the family, and Mommy’s only girl, we have a strong bond that has been fortified with all the time we’ve spent home together. I enrolled her in preschool this year, two days per week, to allow her to socialize with other children and to help her become accustomed to time away from me. She's grown immensely, and I feel she'll be great in kindergarten next year…Mommy, however, might not do so well!
Anyways, because the Fall brings big change for our family, it's important to me to make the most of this summer with my kids.

I grew up in a family with educators for parents- my mom was a teacher, and dad was a principal. I was fortunate my entire life to have both of my parents home for the summer, along with Christmas and March break. They didn't have to worry about childcare arrangements or taking time off for fun summer activities and family trips. Of course, as a child I took this for granted and didn't realize how lucky I was. When I chat with friends who are interviewing babysitters for the summer, or looking into full time daycares, or summer camps, I realize just how lucky I am. I don't know how much longer I'll have summers off, and I can't imagine how we’ll juggle our schedules and childcare when I do have a full time job outside of the home.

There are a number of fabulous camps for children, either run through the city or by private organizations. Many of them even have before and after care programs for children whose parents work early/late. The wide array of themes to choose from for summer camps is incredible, everything from science camp (check out Elephant thoughts, my eight year old loved it!), to art camp, baseball camp, circus camp, and dance camp. The outdoor camps are great for children to acquire a deeper appreciation for nature and the environment. They can hone their wilderness skills, learning how to identify specific plant types, paddle a canoe, and much more, all while including the fun activities camps are known for- crafts and interactive games. Camp Tiffin is a great one, located at the Tiffin Centre for Conservation.

Perhaps you've decided to go another route for childcare, and have someone come into your home to take care of your kids. My teenage years were spent babysitting for families whose parents were busy working during the summer months. I absolutely loved having the responsibility of taking care of the same children each day, and then having weekends and evenings off. It allowed me to form a great relationship with the kids, and enjoy the summer weather going to parks, walks, mini golf, and other fun activities, but I still had a social life- very important at that age!
 If you haven't been able to line up childcare yet, and are stuck where to look, kijiji, Facebook mom groups, churches, and schools are great places to look. Of course you'll want to interview, check references, and observe them with your own children, but these are good starting points for your search. Churches may have a youth group with young people looking for summer employment, high school and university students will also be looking for work, especially if their field of interest is education or childcare.

Perhaps you're fortunate enough to have family members who can care for your children while you work! I'm particularly envious of friends whose parents live nearby and are willing and able to offset the cost of childcare, and jump in when needed. There is something really nice and special about children spending quality time with their grandparents. They get to know them well, feel more comfortable with them, and studies have proven that it has a positive affect on the grandparents’ mental and physical health, as well. Win, win!
There are so many options out there for summer childcare, each one with its own list of pros and cons. Children have fun pretty much wherever they find themselves, making new friends, running, playing, enjoying the sunshine. Wherever your family life and job finds you this summer, enjoy the beautiful weather, the family time as it comes, and the knowledge that you don't (hopefully) have to pack lunches again until September 5th.

Happy Summer!


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