It’s inevitable. No matter how excited your kids were that school was out, it won’t be long until you hear them complain about how bored they are. Without the structure of school and school-related activities, your kids won’t know what to do with themselves.
The bad news: you can search the Internet for 101 Summer Boredom Busters, but no matter what suggestions you give them, your kids are unlikely to be satisfied. The good news: you’re not doomed to hear whining until the end of summer. With a little planning and effort and our seven tips, you can help your kids make the most of summer.
A huge block of time with nothing planned is nothing but trouble. Sign your kids up for summer camp, sports clinics, summer classes, or extra music lessons. They’ll be busy learning and will be less likely to ask you what to do with their free time.
Your child may be interested in gardening, but they’re unlikely to stick with it if you just hand them a spade and a packet of seeds. Pull on a pair of gardening gloves yourself and teach them how to do it, and soon they’ll be watering and weeding like a pro. No matter the activity, kids are more likely to enjoy it and stick with it if you help them get started.
If every time you go to relax with a new novel you hear “I’m bored!” then take them along next time you go to the library or bookstore and have them pick out a few favorites to read this summer, or pick out something to read aloud to them (it’s not just for young children; even young teens enjoy being read to if you pick the right book).
Designate a couple evenings a week “summer reading time” and let your kids read whatever they’re in the mood for: magazines, graphic novels, even comic books – as long as they’re reading silently they’ll be better readers (and better students) come fall. (Check out these tips on helping kids be readers.)
Have you always wanted to learn martial arts, or become an equestrian? Sign up for lessons together. Or maybe you’re more interested in making model airplanes. Ask your kids if they’d like to choose one for a family project. If all that sounds like way too much work, then pick up a puzzle next time you’re at the store, and ask your kids to help put it together. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or a big commitment, as long as you do it together.
Yes, with them. Sending your kids out the door to “go play outside” has its merits, but so does going out with them for a game of catch or a dip in the neighborhood pool. Summer is the perfect time for games like croquet, badminton, and Frisbee, and you’ll be surprised how much fun they are.
Send them to Grandma’s house. Now go take a nap. You’ve earned it.