Heat is on: 6 in 10 moms struggle with planning kids’ summer vacations

NEW YORK — Summer vacation may be exciting for kids, but it’s no picnic for parents. Six in 10 moms say they struggle with planning activities for their kids during the summer months.

A recent study of 2,000 mothers with children between five and 12 finds that two in three want to make the summer break special for their kids but aren’t sure how.

Summer break blues

Forty-six percent say finding both outdoor and indoor activities that’ll keep their kids entertained for long periods of time can be a challenge. Other difficulties include getting their kids into the activities they want due to high demand (43%) and coming up with new ideas beyond the same ones they do every year (42%).

While most moms feel happy (47%) or excited (45%) about this upcoming summer, 53 percent find it challenging to plan family-friendly activities on summer weekends. Trips to the zoo (53%), movie nights (51%), and museum visits (49%) are among the toughest to plan. Meanwhile, cooking and baking (17%) and video games (32%) rank as the easiest.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mother’s Cookies, the survey also shows that seven in 10 moms look forward to the last day of school and having their kids home for summer. Sixty-two percent even have “end-of-school-year traditions” with their kids. Of those respondents, 50 percent take their kid’s photo at the end of each grade they finish, 49 percent burn old homework, schoolwork, or workbooks, and 48 percent write “thank you” notes to their kid’s teachers.

For the summer months, moms are looking forward to spending more time having fun, being silly and playing games with their kids (35%) and catching up on what their kids have learned throughout the school year (35%).

Moms usually prepare to spend the summer with their kids by finding a summer camp or sports team for them (59%), signing themselves and their kids up for arts and crafts classes (55%), and buying arts and craft kits, activity books, and books to do at home (54%).

Mom summer

Summer checklist success

Nearly half (47%) of moms start their summer off with a to-do list of activities to share with their kids, averaging about eight items per list. A whopping 88 percent end up checking off all or some of the items. While 30 percent get in “soccer mom” mode and play the game with their kids, many moms also join their kids for swimming (35%), tennis (30%), and basketball (30%).

“It’s great to see moms planning activities they can enjoy together with their kids and finding joy in the little moments. It’s important to help moms and kids take a step back from life’s daily pressures by encouraging them to take a break, relax, and savor the sweet moments of childhood, such as playing with and devouring their favorite cookies,” says Rachna Patel, Senior Director of Marketing for Mother’s Cookies, in a statement.

“Sixty-eight percent of moms agree it’s important to ‘stop and enjoy’ the summer, especially after the events of the past two years, and what better way to do that than embracing life’s silly moments as a family?”

Most moms usually turn to parenting magazines (35%), social media (35%), and TV talk shows (35%) for ideas on how to keep their kids entertained. However, six in 10 (62%) feel they’ve run out of new ideas.

“Looking beyond the usual sources can help moms find new ways to have fun with their kids while providing an alternative to activities such as summer camp that have limited spots due to high demand,” Patel adds.

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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  1. It is curious that I don’t see fathers mentioned. How do they (or do they) fit into the dynamics?

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