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Making the Most Out of Summer Break

A Guide for Foster Parents

As the long-awaited summer break approaches, it presents a unique opportunity for foster families to strengthen bonds, create lasting memories, and foster personal growth in the children in their care. Here are some strategies to help you make the most out of this summer break with your foster child.

  1. Establish a Routine: Simple routines like regular mealtimes, bedtime routines, and scheduled activities can provide the predictability children often need. This doesn’t mean the schedule has to be rigid—there’s plenty of room for spontaneity—but a general framework can provide comfort.
  2. Encourage Exploration and Learning: Visit local museums, libraries, parks, or historic sites to engage your foster child’s curiosity about the world around them. Many community organizations offer free or low-cost educational programs for children during the summer months.
  3. Promote Personal Interests: Take time to discover what your foster child is passionate about or interested in and find ways to nurture these interests over the summer.
  4. Prioritize Bonding Activities: Simple activities like cooking meals together, having family game nights, or embarking on nature hikes can foster closeness and trust. Sharing new experiences can also create wonderful memories and help your foster child feel more at home.
  5. Prepare for the Next Academic Year: Summer is a great time to address any educational gaps or prepare for transitions, such as moving from elementary to middle school. Consider setting aside time for educational activities that can help keep your foster child’s mind engaged, like reading, educational apps, or even fun science experiments at home.
  6. Focus on Well-being: Summer provides more opportunities for outdoor play, which is excellent for physical health. Additionally, keep an open dialogue about their feelings and experiences, offering support and reassurance as they navigate their emotions and the dynamics of foster care.

As you embark on this summer journey, know that your efforts are creating a positive impact on the lives of these children, offering them not just a place to stay, but a place to grow, learn, and flourish. Enjoy the summer!