School’s out, and that means your kids have extra time and energy on their hands — not to mention a lot more enthusiasm. If your little ones frequently complain of boredom, beg for screen time and rally for later bedtimes, summer can feel like it turns the world upside down. However, while energetic kids can sometimes be a handful, they can also take exceptionally well to in-depth activities.
There are so many fun activities that you may not have time for during the school year, especially if your kids are involved in extracurricular activities. Kids need a balance of play, learning and downtime, and the summer is a perfect time to try your hand at achieving that balance. You can even get there using activities that can suit the entire family and build a deeper connection.
1. Get Kitchen Busy
Getting your kids involved in the kitchen isn’t just a tool to keep them engaged and occupied — it can be a great learning experience. Preparing meals with your kids and encouraging them to actively participate in cooking and baking projects can help teach them life skills, food knowledge and math. Many homeschool parents swear by dinnertime as their best math and science teaching tool.
Taking on cooking and baking projects can lend you a hand in the kitchen, foster creativity and learning on their end and of course keep them occupied leading up to mealtimes.
2. Kick Off Your Shoes
Connecting with the earth is important for kids and adults alike. Spending designated time out in nature is healthy way to engage in free play and burn some energy. Encourage your kids to kick their shoes off and feel the earth beneath your feet. Grab a bluetooth speaker and play some music, or go through an outdoor yoga flow together. The possibilities are endless.
3. Start a Garden
If you’re looking for a specific, productive outdoor project, gardening is a great outlet for your kids to find outdoor time, passionate work and connection with nature. Gardening has so many benefits for the whole family — from growing in your connection to the earth together to growing your own delicious food. Kids can get immersed in gardening with the genuinely cool knowledge that they’re making food from the ground that could soon enough end up on the plate.
4. Foster a Passion Project
While the term “passion project” is more common with adults, encouraging your children to take on passion projects of their own can be one of the best choices you make as a parent. Even if they discover they don’t like something after a while and don’t pick it up again, they’ll learn, grow and understand themselves so much better.
Whether your kid has a random dream of writing a book, choreographing a musical or starting a radio show, working on something they’re passionate about for the sheer enjoyment and self fulfillment of it can teach them about passion and drive that comes from within.
5. Give Them a Taste of the Working World
Before you start laughing — no, I’m not telling your seven-year-old to go get a job. If your kids are at the age where they’re intrigued by money and earning things, however, finding a few extra chores around the house that need to get taken care of is a great way to show them a bit about the exchange of money for labor.
Offer them a few extra dollars to do some chores that usually fall to you — or even find a few tasks that you’ve been putting off. As long as they’re safe, let them try their hand at it.
6. Go to the Library
The library is a free, quiet community space with tons of resources for kids during the summer. If you’re looking to pick up some books, the library is obviously the place to be. On top of that, many local libraries run book clubs, story time sessions and other social events specifically geared at kids to keep them learning during the summer. The library could be a great place for your children to learn new things, read more and even make a few new friends.
7. Have Scheduled Reading Time
After you’ve gotten your load of books from the library or your favorite book shop, designating time to read is great for kids’ learning development. When kids get used to reading daily, they’re more likely to take it into adulthood and absorb information better. Rather than handing them screens this summer, try your hand at some well-loved stories.
8. Make a Splash
No pool? No problem! On those days when the hot summer sun comes out to play, your kids will likely react in cheers when you bring out the sprinkler or garden hose. While skipping through water in the backyard is a bit of a novelty, it’s fun, playful and can get your kids moving. Make sure to lather on some sunscreen and get splashing!
The summer is full of long days, and what better way to use them than by connecting with your kids and getting them involved in meaningful activities? How do you plan to make memories this summer?