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Someone asked me today if I had started to slow down for the summer. Her question took me by surprise. I realized that I don’t slow down at all during the summer any more. I planned my time differently when my children were in school. Then I did slow down during the summer. We planned lazy days by the beach. Some days we played tennis and others we dedicated to water sports. We spent as much time as we could outside engaged in sports, relaxing in the shade, or playing board games. In other words we had lots of fun and our days were much less structured.

Of course, the organizer in me made sure we still followed a modified daily routine. There are always chores to do but you can make them into games so they become a little less onerous. Here are a few ideas for you.

1. Put on some fun music and ask your children to pick up (put away) their toys while the music is playing. When the music stops the person with the most things picked up or put away gets a reward – something like an extra few minutes riding a bike or an extra story read to them at night.

2. Have your children help you with the laundry. They can pair socks and fold some things like towels. Let them start with the easy items and work up to folding t-shirts.

3. Emptying the dishwasher is another task children can help with – particularly sorting the cutlery.

4. An extra pair of hands or two can be a big help preparing dinner.  Children can measure ingredients and stir them together.

Chores are much more fun and they are done faster when everyone pitches in to help. This also teaches the little ones responsibilty. The faster the chores are completed the sooner everyone can get outside to play – whatever the activity of the day may be.