SCHOOLS OUT!! For all the children out there, this is the most exciting time of year! For parents, not so much…It can be difficult to come up with things to do all day long for them (if you are a stay-at-home parent) without hearing the words, ‘I’m bored’ over and over again. If your child struggles with ADHD or has Sensory Processing Disorder, this can be an even bigger challenge. Here are some key things to remember when planning the dog days of summer.
Create a Summer Schedule
Schedule: It is important to remember that whatever your child needs to accomplish each day (putting away laundry, chores, free time, reading, etc), that it is done in a schedule that can be easily followed by your child. Creating a schedule with your child will ensure they have an understanding of the tasks needing to be completed but with their involvement in creating the schedule they are more likely to carry it out instead of becoming upset by it. Schedules also create predictability which children with ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder thrive on.
Movement: Having specific times where your child has the ability to swim, jump on a trampoline, run around, or even play on a jungle gym can be highly beneficial. Children really need all kinds of sensory input that comes from many types of movement. In our summer camp, we love our karate and yoga days. Both of these activities give our bodies many types of muscle movements that help us to focus, listen, and be respectful.
Have fun: It is so important to remember that having fun is essential! Play disarms fear in children and can optimize learning. In our camp environment, all of our activities are centered around having fun. Some of the activities are so much fun, some of the children can become so excited and lose focus or become aggressive. These times are great opportunities to help the child learn how to self regulate, focus and finish the activity, and/or be respectful and not hurt themselves or others.