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Ah, the joy of long summer days. Three months of fun in the sun and endless possibilities. So, what do you do when your child comes to you and says “I’m bored!”? Below, you’ll find some helpful hints. Use these boredom-busters to liven up your summer, and feel free to create new ideas of your own!
Find Story Time: Many local libraries host storytime for young readers and their parents. These programs are held regularly and offer stories, music, rhymes, and suggested reading for parents.
Go on a Nature Walk: Children love to explore and learn new things. Why not introduce them to the world outside? Explore your backyard together, find a local walking trail, or create a trail of your own. To add to the fun, change your nature walk into a scavenger hunt. Create a list of the things you’ll find on your adventure that day and talk about them after you find them. Nature provides a vast learning experience, so enjoy!
Picnic: You’ve heard that it’s important for families to eat together. Why not make it fun? Get together and have picnics regularly. Whether you’re dining on gourmet peanut butter and jelly or turkey sandwiches in your backyard or the local park, picnics can be a great chance to enjoy the outdoors while catching up. Let your little ones help prepare the feast. They will enjoy the responsibility of helping mommy or daddy with the fun. Make sure their tasks are age-appropriate and always keep kitchen safety in mind. On rainy days, spread a blanket on the living room floor and share your ideas of the “perfect picnic.”
Museums: A museum can be a playground of learning for your child. Talk with your child about the different exhibits you are viewing. Let your child give you their take on what they see. Call museums in your area and see whether they host age-appropriate educational programs or sessions. Hands-on museums are great places for kids to have fun and learn at the same time – but we won’t tell them that.
Bring your museum experience home. If you’ve visited an art museum, have your child create their own masterpiece; a historical museum, find books to learn more about the events you heard about; and if you’ve visited a cultural museum, pick one of the cultures you learned about and make a traditional meal together.
Check Out Community Events: Community centers and various clubs or organizations in your area may offer various programs for local youth. Look for a community children’s theater, concerts in the park, farmer’s markets, fairs or a bazaar, tag sales, flea markets or other special events. These events will provide you with many subjects to talk about with your child.
Keep Your Bag of Tricks: Sometimes, kids just want to stay home. In that event, pull out your bag of tricks. Periodically stock up on books, small toys, games, dress-up clothes, and craft supplies for just such an occasion. The new surprises will be a fun change of pace for your child. These “tricks” work for the rainy-day blues as well.
Some of these activities may tend to get expensive if you are enjoying them every week. How about some old-fashioned fun? Get some neighborhood children together for a “show.” Let them use their imaginations, and go from there. Bring to life the games you played as a child. Board games or fun group games – Candyland, Go Fish, Duck Duck Goose, and Red Rover may be fun. Finally, who can forget the good old lemonade stand? Help your child become a budding businessman or woman. Most importantly, whatever you do, enjoy your summer together!