Summer is a great time for activities and creativity, but for some kids, having no structure to the days means boredom and getting into trouble. It’s important to find out what your child is interested in and help them create a schedule of sorts for the summer months.
While you don’t have to fill every day with an activity, there are several simple ways to give your child a fun summer while keeping them safe and happy. Here are a few of the best.
Start a Project
Most kids have some sort of creative spark, so help them find and cultivate it this summer. Whether they enjoy drawing, singing, or photography, there are many ways for your child to express himself. Create a project with him that he can work on all summer, such as taking photographs every day to create a scrapbook before school starts, or teach your child how to bake. Encourage him to document his summer journey to share with friends and family.
Share a Passion
Find ways to bond with your child that will allow her to have fun at the same time. Join a sports team together, or learn a new language with an app like Duolingo. You can also volunteer with your child and feed the homeless, or work with an organization like Habitat For Humanity to help build homes for the less fortunate.
Time to Learn
Speaking of learning something new, summer provides a great time for your child to discover other areas of interest. Whether it’s through camp (like soccer, art, theater, or robotics) or private lessons (like chess, foreign language, or swimming) your child can have fun and get a chance to learn something that can become a lifelong hobby or activity.
One of the best things about summer is that it’s easy to find things to do outdoors. Let your child’s adventurous spirit shine through and allow him to explore a bit. Go for a walk at a park and have him find interesting rocks or leaves. Look for ladybugs or fireflies. Create your own fun outside with water balloons, sidewalk chalk, and bubbles.
Start New Traditions
One way to get kids away from the television and engaged is to try new things. Have a “carpet picnic” for dinner one night on an old blanket rather than sitting at the kitchen table. Find an old drive-in and catch a movie. Check out unique local shops and restaurants. You can even have a family game night once a week.
Do Random Acts of Kindness
Think of some ways you can be kind to your community. You might build your own “little free library” full of books for the neighborhood to share, or hand out wildflower seeds to your child’s friends and encourage them to plant flowers to save the bee population. You can think on a smaller, more personal scale, as well; hide a couple of dollars behind some toys at the dollar store as a nice surprise for the next child who comes along, or pay for the car behind you in line at the drive-thru. These random acts of kindness can become a sort of project for you and your child and will help teach them to be thoughtful toward others.
Make it a point to put away all things technological for a day and let your child see what it’s like to live without television, a microwave, and a smartphone. While it may sound like torture, it may help your child use his imagination more, get creative and active, and find ways to entertain himself rather than relying on a screen. You can take it one step further and make dinner from scratch, and ask your child to help you.
Remember, you don’t have to schedule the entire summer. Find small ways to make a big difference in your child’s summer and help them have fun while they’re learning and staying engaged.
Written by Laura Pearson