Summer Time, The last school bell has rung and summer vacation has started. While children look forward to those three months off, it doesn’t take long for summer boredom to set in.
How can parents help limit their children’s boredom? A little planning early on can lead to a smoother summer for the entire family.
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Make a Summer Calendar
One of the first and easiest things to do is create a calendar for the summer. Make one of your own or print one from the computer. If there are any vacations scheduled, write those in first. Next, fill in dates with other planned activities. Any dates left open can be filled with other activities as the summer progresses. Don’t forget to schedule “down” time. There is nothing wrong with letting kids know there’s a need to rest. Post the calendar somewhere for everyone to see.
Summer Activity Jar
Not every day has to be packed with activities. For those days when you need something to fill some time, try using an activity jar. An old mayonnaise or canning jar will work just fine. Make up a label and fill it with slips of paper with activities written on them. Then when you are looking for something to do, just choose a slip from the jar and you’re off on a fun activity.
Get kids involved in the planning. Some ideas to consider are:
- Family game night
- Ride a bike
- Draw pictures
- Play in the sprinklers
- Make a collage
- Create sidewalk art with chalk
- Read a book
Other Summer Activities
Make sure to plan some time away from the house. Children don’t want to feel like they’re “stuck” at home all summer. Schedule some day trips, too. Try a trip to the library to check out books or participate in a storytime. Take a day and visit the zoo.
Get out your camera and take a photo journey around the neighbourhood or a park. Stop and take pictures of interesting things along the way. Look for insects, colourful flowers, and unusual patterns on trees. Print the pictures and make a scrapbook of the walk. Add photos as you take more walks or visit more places.
At the end of the summer, you can gather all the photos you have taken together and create the best photo book, one to remember your summer adventures – you could even make it into an annual thing and have a range of photo books from over the years to see how the children have grown.
Besides filling a child’s summer with all play activities, find an opportunity for volunteering. Look for something that interests the child and talk about why it’s important to give back to the community.
Not all activities have to be expensive or elaborate. Make sure the children are involved in the planning process. With a little bit of creativity, summer boredom will be eliminated and, when it’s time to return to school, kids will be wondering how summer went by so fast.