I remember my Summers as a child. I loved to go out and run my neighborhood hours on my bike hanging withe my friends and lots of picnics at parks, in our backyard, swimming lessons, Girl Scout camping trips and lots of ice cream. LOL Times have so changed! Now, kids rarely have friends in the neighborhood. We would never allow them to leave the house at nine, come home for lunch and be off until dinner. So, what is a parent to do and how do we help kids have a fun summer and still be kids?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Summer Camps for interests. You kids have a variety of interests choose camps which will spark their imaginations and curiosity. You can choose weekly, two weeks or monthly camps. There are a variety of camps:STEM, Music, Writing, Acting, Singing, Artist pick the ones where your child has the most interes. Even get them involved in choosing wht they want to do.
- Overnight Camping--I suggest this as both a camp children go away for a few days and as a family. Camping is a great way to spend some time away from home and get back to nature/ If you are not the "camping type" try glamping and rent an RV for a weekend or week-long trip. You have all he convenience of a hotel (no room service) so you get to sleep in a bed. But, you are still at a camp grounds where you can enjoy all the outdoor activities.
- Read a novel as a family-Take a trip to the bookstore or sit in your living room and check out some children's novels (Swiss Family Robinson, Robinson Crusoe, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Huckleberry Finn, Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys, Charlotte's Web) then read a chapter a night as a family.
- Scavenger Hunts-this one takes some planning and coordination. This would be a great weekend activity. Pick a series of activities to do and write a clue for each. Then take to the clues to a each place. One should start at home of course. Let the children read the clue and guess. Then go this is so great if you live in a walkable neighborhood. But, getting in the car is okay also. I suggest you have a meal or a ice cream for the last clue so you can talk about your days adventure.
- Scrapbook as a family. Use your pictures from all you your trips and adventures to create a Summer of 2018 scrapbook. Each family member could create two or three pages for the book and it will become a great family heirloom to remember and tell the stories for years to come.
- Plan and cook meals together. Make this meal an event. Plan the meal together go shopping for the ingredients, Cook together. Turn your backyard into a cool place to eat and take you dinner al fresco.
- Find a local trail and go walking or bike riding as a family. Take a picnic.
- Do a staycation and find out about your town. Check into a local hotel and do the tourist thing in your own town. Do you have places seen on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives? What are the local tourist events you have never seen?
- Take your kids to a concert of your favorite band when you were a kid. Then take them to a concert o their favorite artist today.
- Take several evenings and play some board games. Make it a junk food night and just have fun.
- Spend a lot of time at or in the pool!
In addition, to these suggestion I encourage you limit your child's screen time to no more than the amount of time it takes to watch two movies each day (2-4 hours); this includes computer, phone, video games and TV watching. Brain development studies are showing that screen time hampers brain development and keeps kids wasting rather than spending time. Encourage kids to journal, draw, talk to friends face to face, play games, take walks and simply engage with the world beyond the screen. Get them involved in some local classes for kids where they can learn more skills and develop a hobby. Kids like adults waste time on the screen because there is nothing else to do. Fix that problem and kids will find other activities far more engaging and interesting.
I hope these suggestions will help you and your kids have a Summer 2018 to remember!
Believe in Parenting