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Tips and tricks for an easier transition to summer

By: Dr. Barrie Krause

Check out these helpful summer tips by our own Dr. Barrie Krause, school psychologist at Irving Montak SINAI School at SAR Academy:

The end of the school year can be a difficult time for children who thrive on structure and predictability. Many children struggle to maintain the relationships/friendships they have built during the school year and can have anxiety about making new friends or fitting in at camp. Below are some suggestions for how to ease the transition from school to summer.

General Tips:

  • Maintain a morning and bedtime routine.
  • If kids will be going to day camp, try to have a schedule similar to school hours.
  • If they don’t have a regular schedule to follow like day camp, keep a calendar of the week so kids know what to anticipate.

Social Tips:

  • Encourage kids to keep in touch with classmates and friends over the summer.
  • Playdates centered around an activity rather than unstructured time together is helpful for kids with social skill or expressive language weaknesses.
  • Monitor screen time and with whom they are speaking.
  • Make sure to review internet safety rules with your children.

Tips for Kids Going to Sleepaway Camp:

  • Try to make connections with other campers beforehand. This way, your child has some friendly faces on arrival.
  • Let them bring transitional objects to help them feel connected to home.
  • Have your child help pick their bedding or clothing — this adds excitement and anticipation to going away.
  • Pack small surprises in their trunk.
  • Have a letter or email waiting for them the first day they arrive in camp.
  • Talk about your own camp days, especially how you handled different challenges that you encountered in camp. You can try role playing or modeling.
  • Validate and normalize feelings of homesickness ahead of time. Remind kids that it is okay and very normal to miss home. It is also okay to have a great time at camp, away from home, and it is normal and fine to feel both homesick and to enjoy camp at the same time.