After a vacation, a weekend, or even a day off -- when toddlers typically run around for hours, watch more TV than usual, and stay up past their regular bedtimes -- it can be tough for them to switch back into school mode. While you can't maintain the structure of a school day during a break (it wouldn't be much of a break if you did), you can keep their love of learning alive.
"During periods of time off, it's important to continue providing stimulating activities that keep your child motivated to learn," says Ron Fairchild, executive director of the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University. And when you come back, you can help prepare them to return to classroom learning and the school routine. Here's how:
While You're Away...
When You Come Back...
The Night Before School...
On the morning of the first day back, go through your regular school-day rituals. Before you and your child part, remind her when she'll see you again -- "I'll pick you up after nap"-- and give her something to look forward to after school -- "We'll read your new Olivia book when you get home, and maybe we'll even bake cookies!" Give her a big hug and kiss and tell her she's going to have a great day. After all your preparation, she no doubt will.
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