Most kids are already counting down the school days until summer break while their parents are frantic over ways to fill the long, lazy days of summer. A kid’s dream of summer fun (and a parent’s hope for quiet) can quickly morph into fits of boredom and complaining. But with these suggestions, your kids will be busy, entertained and happy.
Although the traditional school year is complete, learning should never stop. Summer is the perfect time for your kids to explore new hobbies, participate in favorite activities or learn something new. Your budding artist will appreciate an art class where she can explore a new medium, like ceramics, painting or sculpting. Complement her studies with a visit to an art museum or local art gallery. If an offsite class won’t work or isn’t available in your area, invest in some new art supplies like sidewalk chalk, paints, crayons and paper. Encourage her to see the world (namely, your driveway) as her canvas.
Your current or future STEM student will be thrilled to take a science-based class that focuses on robotics, rockets or space. Local universities and colleges often offer learning-based summer camps for kids eager for a fun and academic challenge.
Most libraries sponsor a summer reading program for youth — sign your kids up and stock up on great reads.
There’s no doubt that the summer sun can zap your kid’s energy level, but when you mix in cool, refreshing water, your kid will be energized to play all day. Check out the splash pads in your area — pack a picnic, grab towels and sunscreen and spend the afternoon splashing about. If you have access to a community pool, summer is the ideal time for swim lessons or if your kid already takes to water like a fish, sign him up for your community’s swim team. A road trip to a nearby beach or lake will make for an unforgettable family vacation. If you’d rather spend summer in staycation mode, bust out the sprinkler, water balloons and baby pool to create a backyard water- and fun-filled oasis.
Spin your wheels
As an adult, you can take to the open road at any moment, but your first taste of freedom originated with two wheels — your bicycle. Recapture the childhood joy of the wind in your hair with your kids as you pedal your way on a bicycle journey. If you’re near a bike path, now is the time to explore it. If not, bicycling through your community can offer hours of entertainment and heart-pumping exercise. Don’t forget to pack snacks, a first aid kit and water, notes MoneyTalksNews writer Geof Wheelwright. And no biking adventure is complete without a stop for ice cream.
Sleeping under the stars doesn’t have to require a shopping spree for camping gear, a faraway and pricey campsite or an over-packed car. Your backyard provides the essentials for a summer camping adventure — all you need are sleeping bags and a tent, according to Wheelwright. To make the campout even sweeter, use a fire pit to roast marshmallows and create the signature treat of camping — s’mores. Practice good fire safety and keep little ones far from the flames.
Summer break offers many hours for family fun and a chance for your kids to relax, try new things and experience the great outdoors. Fill their summer with these entertaining ideas.