Apart from the sweltering weather, summer usually means family bonding, beach trips, and the kids running amok around the house. Well, they’re either tearing the house to pieces or spending the entire day glued to their gadgets.
Either way, it’s an annual challenge to keep the kids occupied during the six school-free weeks of summer. It used to be quite an easy task – until the laptops, Playstations, Xbox’s, and iPads came along.
Want to know how to work your way around this year’s summer ‘kiddie pre-occupation’, anti-gadget challenge?
Here are four sure-fire tips:
1. Organize play dates with same-aged kids in the neighborhood.
Nothing keeps a child preoccupied better than another kid who shares the same interests. Contact moms around your area or within your circle of friends who have kids that are the same age as yours. Rotate your playdate gatherings for all weekends of summer, and prepare different activities for each playdate. Don’t forget to leave the iPads and handheld game consoles at home!
Sharing the ‘burden’ of summer planning with other parents make it easy for you to come up with more ‘detailed’ activities, like backyard sports matches, cookie parties, and a lot more.
2. Why not check out the village park and play with your kids?
The village park may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think ‘summer vacation with the kids’. But, thing is, the feeling between you and your child may not be mutual.
The park may actually be his or her idea of a great place to hang out in with Mom and Dad this summer!
Take a day off or two and head to the village park. Armed with a picnic basket filled with your family’s favorite snacks (prepared at home of course), relish the warmth of the summer sun and the beauty of spending quality time without actually shelling out money.
Taking the kids to the playground may be an ‘old-school’ way of bonding. But nonetheless, it’s definitely a great way to encourage more active play, interaction with family, and socialization with other kids.
3. Put up a lemonade stand, sell cupcakes, or just enjoy working on a summer goal together.
As an adult, you may not enjoy having all the responsibilities at home and at work. On the other hand, your kid is actually thrilled by the idea of being given one! Capitalize on that childhood ‘desire’ and give your child a little goal to achieve for summer.
You can make it fun and let him share the responsibility with a sibling or a friend. Selling home-made products like cookies or cupcakes (which the child helped bake too!) are an amazing idea to tap their creative and entrepreneurial side. You can also give them the summer task of ‘renovating’ his or her room or help you find little ‘treasures’ from the garage or attic by helping you clean it.
These little projects would keep them so busy (and tired after a day’s ‘work’), that they won’t even think of reaching out for that iPad or Playstation.
Once the goal has been ‘reached’, don’t forget to reward your kid for a job well done!
4. Go on a nature adventure…in your backyard.
Kids love the thrill of ‘discovering’ things. And summer is just the perfect time to make use of your little piece of personal real estate to give them their dose of exciting nature discoveries!
Spring and summer season are when beautiful things start growing from the ground – let your kid get down and dirty, and join them in welcoming new vegetable or flower sprouts.
When the heat starts to irritate your kid, don’t depend on the airconditioning system. Instead, head to your backyard and turn the sprinkler on! Make little mud pools, assemble kid-made waterfalls, and bask at the smiles of pure bliss from your children.
Yes, despite and in spite of the wonderful technology that surrounds the kids of this generation, summer is still made for fun in the outdoors. And to adapt to the challenging economic times at present, make the necessary adjustments by exploring the many amazing things that surround you and your home.