Summertime Fun: Getting the Most Out of the Season
No parent enjoys hearing their children say, “I’m bored.”
It’s good to have many options for activities. I know kids can seem uninterested but with a variety of different choices it should be easier to keep them engaged, involved and learn more about themselves and even have fun in the process.
Here are some summertime activity suggestions for you and your family.
Try Camps, Sport Activities and Classes
Is there a recreational team in your community? Think summer league softball, baseball and other sports. Other ideas to consider include:
- Search for a specific camp; something that interests your child. It might be horse camp, theater group, culinary classes, sports or cheer camp. Discovering new interests is a great way to spend the summer months.
- Swimming lessons are a great way to improve strength and agility. It can be a lifelong activity. Check with your local community pool, YMCA, or sports clubs and gyms about the availability of swimming lessons.
Keeping kids busy can help avoid “idle hands” that can sometimes lead to unwanted acting out.
Find Some Neighborhood Fun
Think about having a backyard movie night. You can make it easy, just by hanging a white sheet on a large outside wall. Borrow a projector, if you don’t already have one, and plan to invite the neighbors both young and old.
Choose an age-appropriate movie, and encourage those coming to bring popcorn, drinks, and other snacks to share during the movies as well as blankets or lawn chairs for seating during the movie.
Or, host a bike rodeo: You can hold it in a few neighborhood driveways, and use sidewalk chalk to design the “course” such as straight lines, curves, stopping and starting at a certain point, or weaving through cones and empty boxes. The possibilities are endless! Remember to include the youngest children who may have a tricycle or strider bike. Helmets are a must-have safety item. Sunscreen is vital for time outside, too.
When kids get involved with projects like this, they stay focused and busy – and that can help attitude and spirits.
Camping Need Not Require Travel
Backyard camping is another way to enjoy the great outdoors. If you are unable to “get away from it all” by leaving town consider setting up a tent or two in the backyard. Food cooked on the grill and snacks eaten while outside seem to taste better. Other tips:
- Bring back some of the old games that can be played as a family such as Red Rover, Red Rover or Duck-Duck-Goose.
- Have older kids organize the games and teams.
- Younger children may need to partner with a parent. If you want to invite the neighbors to join in the fun, you may need more team members.
Summer is just a short three months and before you know it, back-to-school time will be here. Enjoy the time you can spend indoors and outdoors with your family during these summer months, making memories and living in the moment. Time shared is good for kids.
Get more ideas for summertime fun.
Learn more about Avera family education.
Twila Perkinson is a Family Life Educator with Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.