Are your tired of hearing your children say, “I'm bored”? Trying to limit their time with TV and video games? Wondering how to make sure they are prepared for a new school year? During summer breaks, you may be wondering how to keep your kids occupied without the structure of school, homework, sports and other after-school activities. Here are three tips for whipping your family's summer into shape (and having fun while doing it!).
If your child seems to spending too much much time on the couch— or-in front of electronics—it’s time to get outside and be active as a family.
Go out and about
Your local community probably offers a variety of learning and exploring opportunities. For resources, use your area newspaper or websites that have a calendar of events. Consider these possibilities:
Your children may rebel against the thought of doing "school work" during summer vacation, so keep it fun when reviewing their skills with them and preparing for another school year.
Take your children with you on shopping trips and have them assist in staying within a budget, calculating discounts and determining which products are the better value. Richie Holmes Grant, owner of Innovative Study Techniques, also encourages families to plan a summer budget together: "[It will] help your child gain a better appreciation of household finances. You can make it simple or more complex, depending on your child's math level."
Problem-solving skills can be built by encouraging children to invent a new game or to use their imagination to build something new out of common household items.
Find books that relate to your children's interests. Your children's librarian will be able to make recommendations or offer lists of books or authors based on books or topics your child likes. Creating a book club for your child and their friends is a great way not only to motivate them to read, but also to encourage them to share their thoughts about what they are reading. For the meetings, have your child plan games and snacks that are based on the book the club is reading.
Creative writing can be used as a way to help your children improve their writing (and handwriting) and to learn more about themselves. Lisa Anne Louise Rentz, a creative writing instructor, recommends using prompts to get the creative juices flowing. For example, give children the beginning of a sentence and ask them to finish it. Once they've done that, have them keep writing and develop the idea into a short story they can read aloud.