Summer's here and that means some parents are are reveling in the lack of schedule and the slower pace, while others are anxious about all their kids' down time. If you fall into the latter category, fear not! There's no shortage of ideas for ways to keep the kids active and happy over the summer months. Here are a few, fun summer activity ideas we've come across:
- Maybe you have a child who uses all her spare time to write stories and poetry. Or, maybe your child is a good writer, but needs a little nudge to keep him writing over the summer. Either way, this writing contest is sure to inspire your budding writer to put pen to paper.
- When your child asks to watch television or YouTube videos, tell her to get on the other side of the camera! Hand over your home video camera (cell phone camera, etc.) and give your child the chance to show off his creativity and passion for the environment. There are numerous video contests for kids running at any given time, sponsored by corporations, non-profits, and more. Simply search online for "video contests for kids," and see what comes up that would be of interest to your child.
- Summer is a great time to encourage kids to step outside themselves. What better way to do this than getting your kids to volunteer?! If you're not sure where to begin, try calling your local Chamber of Commerce or visit Volunteermatch.org. Both are excellent resources for volunteer opportunities.
- During the school year, life can be so hectic that sometimes we do too much for our kids and don't involve them in decisions as much as we should. (C'mon admit it...we all fall into that pattern at times!) This summer, why not make a conscious effort to have your kids do more planning. Do you have a vacation that still needs planning? Have your kids do the leg work and research! If you are all set with plans, then how about handing over the money for your vacation entertainment budget and letting your kids call the financial shots. I bet they'll learn a lot and maybe even have a bit more appreciation for the times you say, "No we are not getting an ice cream cone -- we just had one yesterday!"
- Help your child tap into her inner entrepreneur and start a business over the summer. This Huffington Post article, Good Summer Business Ideas for Kids 11-17 , has some good pointers on how to get started.
- Our teacher blogger Connie McCarthy recently made an excellent suggestion in her post, Take Advantage of Your Town's Summer Programs. This is such an inexpensive way to have fun and stay connected with other families in your community. Stay local and save on gas, too!
One last suggestion. All of the above are fun ways to keep kids active, but they also need some down time and, yes, time to get bored! The last thing kids need is to be over-scheduled in the summertime!
What are your kids up to this summer? We'd love to hear what adventures and activities you have planned ... or they have planned! Share below in the comment section.