Summer is in full swing, and before you know it, it’ll be time to start packing lunches again and send the kids off to school for a brand new year. One of the challenges that today’s parents are faced with is keeping their children engaged during their summer break from school. Gone are the days when parents could let their children wander the neighborhood for hours on end during the summer. Kids now need constant supervision, unless they are older teens who can fend for themselves. Plopping a child down in front of a television for hours at a time isn’t a good idea. They need activities that will keep their bodies moving, and keep their minds active, as well.
One of the best ways to keep kids engaged is to get them reading. Their school might have a summer reading program in place, where they are assigned books to read over the summer. If not, take advantage of your local public library and sign your kids up for their summer reading programs. Barnes and Noble also has their own summer reading program, and when your kids read a certain number of books, they are allowed to select a free book from Barnes and Noble’s selection of summer reading reward books. You can even shop for books online at Barnes and Noble, or order e-books for tablets. Right now, you can get $5.00 off of select $35.00 purchases, plus receive free shipping.
Get the kids outside. It can be a lot of fun for the whole family to get outside together during the summertime. There are endless outdoor activities you can do together. Why not create a reading nook in the backyard? Use a hula hoop, a shower curtain, and some ribbon to create a hanging reading pod. Make up your own silly games, or invest in some yard games, like badminton, corn hole or lawn darts. Have room for a pool? Why not be silly together and wade in a shallow inflatable pool? If you have a larger pool, stock up on pool toys from Intex for just $4.99! Make up some pool games that use math or critical thinking to keep kids thinking and learning, even while having a blast playing in the water. Don’t forget about old favorites, like blowing bubbles, having picnics on the porch, and camping in the backyard.
Make up themes for each day of the summer. Why not turn every day of summer vacation into a fun learning opportunity for the kids? You can create themes like ‘Arctic Day,’ where you explore the Arctic and go on scavenger hunts at home. Subscribe to an educational kids subscription service like Little Passports, which sends your kids on a new adventure around the world (without leaving home) every month! Save $20.00 on any new 12 month subscription from Little Passports. You can even learn a new language right from home! Invest in a DVD set from Little Pim, and learn a new language as a family.
Take educational day trips. You might not be able to fill their summers up with vacations, but you can probably plan a few day trips here and there. Go to museums and zoos. Take advantage of local sites or historic walking tours. Many of these activities are free, or only cost a suggested donation. If your kids are having ‘screen withdrawl,’ have them earn some screen time by doing some chores around the house or by spending some extra time reading. Chances are, they’ll be so engrossed in their books that they’ll forget all about wanting to watch TV. they’ll be too busy using their own imaginations.