9 Things to do with Your Kids This Summer
I am using my gift of planning and organizing to help you with the sometimes energy draining efforts to keep your children active this summer without losing your marbles. And in the process, you will be allowing your kids to make choices, be creative, be free and be happy. If you’re a parent who is dreading having the kids home all summer, shift your thinking and take advantage of the summer to pump up your children’s confidence with these fun ideas.
Here are 9 Things Your Kids Can Do This Summer:
1. Start with the ground rules:
Kids like routine. They like to know what to expect. Expect them to want to do nothing. Expect them to want to watch TV. Expect them to want to get out and do stuff. Expect them to want to play with their electronics. You have your expectations too. Sitting down at the beginning of the summer and establishing everyone’s expectations avoids whining and melt-downs, and creates respect and responsibility. Make a schedule that they can participate in creating. Schedules times and days for: TV, Computer Play, Relax Mode (no technology), Outdoor Sports, Friend Play, Explore your own City etc.
* They will learn respect and balance.*
2. Make concoctions:
One of my kids’ favorite things to do is to mix whatever you have in your pantry or fridge in their own huge mixing bowls. They think it’s awesome, but make sure you’re in the mood to just let them “be”.
All you need is: flour, vinegar, spices (curry, cinnamon, oregano etc.), raisins, honey, cheerios…. whatever you want! A huge mixing bowl for each child, and wooden spoons. Hate messes? Don’t worry – mess is minimal if you stress that everything must go into the bowl. Still can’t handle that? Take it all outside (if you like the idea of carrying it all out on a tray and don’t mind bringing it all back in again).
* They will experiment with creativity, sense of smell, discovery, independence, freedom, laughter. *
3. You have techies? Virtual Adventures Camp:
Check out your local camp listings. There is one here in Ottawa called Virtual Adventure Camp where they can create their own websites any way THEY want. This is a great idea for the thick of summer when it’s way too hot outside and they want to take a break from the heat….. and you get one too of course.
4. Let them be the boss for an entire day:
Let them decide what you will do for tomorrow by following a couple of guidelines:
(make a schedule that they have to fill out that includes)
- choose 3 meals for the day, that they don’t have to make, but they can decide on (breakfast, lunch, supper * and they all have to be healthy)
- choose an activity for the morning (ie. have a playdate)
- choose an activity for the afternoon (even if they want to go to the cinema – it’s THEIR special day)
Then reward them with a Banana Split after supper for a job well done. Our favorite trimmings include: Ice Cream, Banana slices, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, nuts and a cherry.
* They will learn organization skills, thinking skills, planning skills, confidence and self esteem. *
5. Grandparent visits
* NOT babysitting * Just a good old fashioned visit where they can learn a new card game, or card tricks….. do they even know how to build a card house?? Today many children see their grandparents as sitters. Let’s give them (and their grandparents) quality visits.
* They will see their grandparents as grandparents rather than the babysitter. *
6. Take them to the store to choose a flower, plant or herb
Make them plant it at home in the garden and have them take care of it all summer.
* They will learn responsibility and possibly consequences for their actions. *
7. Research a new animal each week
This is for the younger ones: Once a week, have them research a different animal online. Show them how to Google productively. They can search for what they eat, how long they live for, how long the gestation time is…. I don’t know!
* They will learn how to surf and how computers are not just for games. *
8. Give them a chore.
If they can handle doing it, they should be doing it. Cleaning lady or not – have one empty the dishwasher while the other puts the dishes away. Have one vacuum the family room, while the other one dusts. (once a week – and don’t forget to schedule that into your summer schedule!)
* They will gain responsibility, autonomy, independence, and not become spoiled brats! *
9. Teach them about jokes!
Humor is an awesome tool to use to deflect unwanted behavior (mainly bullying). So let’s get them comfortable using it and making it a part of their lives. And who doesn’t like a good joke?
* They will gain character and maybe a little personality. *
Please share an idea (or two or three in the comments below) so that we can all make our lists longer!
Enjoy your summer!!
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- Filed Under: Self Discovery