School break is just around the corner which means that kids in Finland will soon be on holiday for 10 weeks. There can be a lot of mixed feelings around summer break. On the one hand, having time off from school is important since it allows kids the chance to recharge. On the other hand, not having a regular school schedule can be a challenge to certain kids and their caregivers. Here are 10 ideas for parents who want to have an enjoyable summer with their kids (while taking into account everyone’s well-being and the family budget 🙂

  1. Embrace Nature: Finland offers stunning natural landscapes. Plan regular outings to national parks, lakes, and forests. Activities like hiking, berry picking, and swimming can be both relaxing and invigorating for the whole family.
  1. Incorporate Physical Activity: Encourage daily physical activities such as cycling,  swimming, playing outdoor sports, or simply walking in the neighborhood. Physical activity boosts mood and health for both parents and children.
  1. Plan Educational Excursions: Visit museums, historical sites, and science centers. Places like the Finnish Museum of Natural History and Heureka Science Centre can be both fun and educational, sparking curiosity and learning in an engaging way.
  1. Maintain a Routine: While it’s tempting to let go of routines during summer, maintaining a consistent schedule for meals and bedtime helps keep everyone well-rested and in good spirits.
  1. Cultural Activities: Participate in local festivals and cultural events. Finland’s summer is rich with music festivals, art exhibitions, and traditional celebrations, offering great opportunities for family bonding and cultural enrichment.
  1. Gardening Projects: Start a small garden at home. Gardening can teach kids responsibility and provide a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it’s a calming activity that the whole family can enjoy together.
  1. Balanced Screen Time: Set limits on screen time to ensure kids spend more time outdoors and engage in physical activities. Balance is key – allowing some screen time while encouraging other activities can help manage expectations.
  1. Family Reading Time: Establish a daily reading habit by setting aside time for family reading. Visit local libraries or bookshops to find books that interest both parents and children, fostering a love for reading. Family reading time is a favorite activity in my home, and it can be done with kids of all ages.
  1. Creative Arts and Crafts: Engage in arts and crafts projects. Whether it’s painting, drawing, or building something together, creative activities can be therapeutic and enhance fine motor skills and creativity.
  1. Relax and Unwind: Ensure that there is downtime for everyone to relax and unwind. Whether it’s spending a lazy afternoon at the beach or having a quiet evening at home, downtime is crucial for recharging and maintaining overall well-being.

By following these tips, families can create a balanced, enjoyable, and memorable summer that promotes the well-being of both parents and children. A final piece of advice is that in those moments where things don’t go as planned, please be kind to yourself and try again! Nobody is perfect and we are all just learning as we go along.

Enjoy the upcoming summer holidays!