The Kids Are Home All Summer...!

Ideas for Reading, Learning, Playing & Helping

Dear Parents,

"Everything good, everything magical, happens between the months of June and August." Remember that feeling? Jenny Han, a former school librarian and author of The Summer I Turned Pretty, captures our kids' anticipation of summer perfectly. This summer is perhaps a little strange, though. With camps and youth programs canceled, we've got some long days ahead of us. What to do?

My name is Ashley Ward, and I am the Counseling Coordinator and Crisis Counselor here in Mabank ISD. I am passionate about helping students and look forward to meeting and working with you and your children in the upcoming school year, but for now would like to share some tips to help you and your kids survive and thrive during this long and unusual summer.

Some tips from the experts include keeping to a routine, limiting screen time, maximizing outdoor time (where possible), and keeping the learning going. But how to do all that? This newsletter offers you a variety of no-cost tips and ideas for keeping kids happy, productive, learning, and doing.

Stay safe and thrive,

Ashley Ward, MS, LPC

Counseling Coordinator/Crisis Counselor

Mabank ISD

"I had the familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald


Banish the groans.

This article details many ideas for making reading a special, fun, and exciting family activity. It's a pre-pandemic article, so be creative in thinking about how some of the activities could work just as well on Zoom.


Travel to the coolest places, ever.

Ok, only virtually, at least for now. But there are so many parts of the world to explore, and a too-hot or too-rainy summer day is the perfect time for a virtual adventure. Who knows? Maybe next summer in real life!

Summer's Celestial Events!

The New York Times has created a special calendar that allows you to get in sync with the solar system. Find a spot with as little light pollution as possible, pack a snack, and watch the night sky like it's a movie.



Why spend $ when you don't have to? There's no time like summer to do it yourself, make it yourself, maybe even sell it yourself!


Are your kids doing household chores?

Are you going nuts imploring your kid to help? Or do you have toddlers and you're thinking about how to help teach them responsibility? This article that breaks down everything you need to know to get your kids helping around the house.

Doing for others

Volunteering at a young age is a great lesson in community and responsible citizenship. We all feel better about ourselves and our world when we give to others. Here's a simple volunteer idea that works well for kids of all ages during covid.