Summer is finally here. As parents and caregivers, you will need some fresh ideas for keeping your kids busy over the long summer break as the holidays can be a stressful time when kids may misbehave due to boredom. You probably are contemplating not dropping your kids off with their grandparents this time around. You just want them around you but you are perplexed on how to keep them engaged. It’s best to put a little bit of advanced planning into the summer holidays and prepare yourself with a host of engaging activities to keep your kids busy and yet happy.
- Get swimming lessons. Organize a swimming lesson for them to go swimming when possible. The swimming pool has a calming and equally exciting effect on children and the amount of energy used in the water means that they won’t be quite as active when they get home. They will probably go straight to bed after all the exertion in the day and leave you to your peace-at least for the night.
- Visit the library. As much as the holidays are for relaxation and fun for the kids, it could also be a good time to learn more. Use your local library regularly. All kids usually have things that excite them more. Get books that are in the areas of their interests- books on nature, gardening, space science, for instance can be occupying, especially when you notice that you’re your kid has shown interest in that area. Do some reading while you’re there instead of getting some books and heading home. Give your children a love of books — it is one of the best gifts you can give them.
- Learn life saving skills. The long summer holiday is a good time for your kids to acquire life-saving skills. While you are away at your work, you can be assured that your kids are being trained to become the next “superheroes” who will one day save the world.
- Learn an art. Go to a bead shop and stock up on beads, wire and clasps, and get busy making your own jewelry. Kids love painting; sign them up in a painting class and you may just be raising the next Leonardo da Vinci. Just wait to see that look of proud accomplishment on their faces when they deliver their first works!
- Cooking and baking. Once a week plan a cooking or baking day. Involve the kids in the process from the beginning — let them chose from a selection of recipes that you have ingredients for. If the child can read, get them to read from the recipe book. Step by step, help them to work through the instructions. Try to avoid the temptation of doing it yourself.
- Go on picnics. You don’t have to go far to have a picnic and you don’t necessarily have to go over the budget— a simple picnic in a park will do the job nicely. Take whatever you have in the fridge. Remember that it is not exactly about the food- it is more about the bonding with the kids, the excitement of doing something unusual. You’d be amazed that even a box of sandwiches would get them super-charged.
- Have a “Chill Day”. With all that activity planned, kids will also need some down time. Make sure you plan some days where you just chill together, watch some movies together, read some books together, and take it easy- together.
By keeping your kids active and happy all summer, you not only prepare them for the next academic year, you are also imparting them with lessons for life in this ever-changing world where spending time with your family is increasingly getting difficult.