The Center for Disease Control and Prevention continues to advise against travel until individuals are fully vaccinated, meaning any summer travel plans should be put on hold for parents who have not received vaccines or any young children as they are still months away from getting CDC approval for the shots. But fortunately, Miami-Dade County is the destination of choice for many vacationers, so you don’t have to go far to enjoy the summer with your young ones.
Though this summer promises to be more open than the last, parents still need to exercise precautions to make sure their children enjoy themselves while still being safe. For information on the ways to stay safe, read Miami-Dade County’s latest COVID Safety Guidelines: A Guidebook for Residents and Commercial Establishments.
Family comes first
With all the upheaval during the past 14 months, it’s easy to forget that summertime is the best time to bring the family together. Remember to schedule time off from work so you can devote entire days or even weeks focused on your children. Think back about some of your best family memories and chances are they were during the summer. That’s why you should plan to take time to do things as a family during the upcoming months. The uncertainty and restrictions during the pandemic should remind us to take the opportunities we have to be together, and not put them off.
With travel less of an option, family activities can be local in nature. Visit beaches and parks, go on bike rides or kayaking together as a family, set up movie and game nights, and make other efforts that are centered around the family and quality time.
Get campy with your kids
We know adults still must deal with work during the summer, but organizing activities for your children to do is the best way to make sure and give them memorable summers. That’s why summer camps were invented. There are plenty of options out there, but look for the one that suits your child’s interest, your schedule and your neighborhood.
Miami-Dade County conveniently lists a variety of different camps, including virtual, general, nature, sports, performing and fine arts, and therapeutic, recreation and inclusion camps with many at low-cost. Visit www.miamidade.gov/global/recreation/hoe.page and search for “Summer Camp at Parks.”
The Children’s Trust also compiled a list of its funded summer camps and programs and even includes an interactive map to see those that are closest to you. Visit www.TheChildrensTrust.org/SummerCamps for more information.
If you don’t know what the “summer slide” is, then the chances are good that your child may go through it this summer – it’s the academic regression many children suffer during the summer or non-schooling months. To counteract it, parents need to make sure their children continue to actively learn even during the summer.
Luckily, there is plenty of help for parents looking to keep their children engaged in learning. The 2021 Summer Battle of the Books encourages students to participate in a dynamic competition that culminates in a July 22 virtual battle to become a great book warrior. There are plenty of events scheduled throughout the summer to keep them involved, including videos, activities and online appearances from special guests from the NBA, Miami Hurricanes and others. Visit www.stayhome. miami/battle-of-the-books.
And while big events, activities and family trips are memories your children won’t ever forget, remember that it is the everyday interactions that most form them. Throughout May sign up for Ready, Set, Go Miami! events (readysetgomiami.com) that teach parents how daily interactions can help ready their young children for a lifetime of learning and success, and set aside time every day you can to read with your child before bed or even throughout the day.