We all know what happens a week into summer vacation. We start hearing those infamous words…”Mom, we’re bored. Do you have a game plan; are you ready to keep your children entertained during the nice long hiatus called “summer vacation”? It’s easy to have a plan of action to keep kids from driving you insane and without breaking the bank. Here are a few fun suggestions to keep them happy and carefree during the dog days of summer.
First stop is the local library to join the reading program. Most public libraries offer a reading program for preschools through the sixth grade. The sign-up process is easy and your kids not only get some reading in but they can earn great prizes too. Some past prizes included coupons for free ice cream cones, tickets the movies, admission to the local fair. Each child is required to read or be read to a certain number of books to earn each prize. Each are given a sheet to record their reading progress. Make visiting the library a weekly event and have daily time for reading at home.
If you are adventuress take the reading program a step further. Each week have one child pick a book about a different country. Read this book as a family, and learn new things about a country. Once you are done have day that is all about that country. Work together create a menu of what the country eats for the day or a certain meal; have everyone help in making the meal for the family. Have a craft time where you create something from the country. It can be as simple as coloring the Country’s flag. You could even put on a mini play about the country for other children in the neighborhood or even the extended family. This will make reading more enjoyable for some of the children.
Another fun idea is to look for local tours in your city. Sometimes local grocery stores, pizza parlors, breweries and bakeries will offer low cost or free tours. This gives the kids a chance to learn how a business works, and how the foods they like is created. Most of these tours will offer some free samples, or coloring books at the end. Many tours will reduce fees if a larger group is attending, check with the neighbors they may be interested also.
The next idea will need some adult help to get it up and running. Let the kids go into business for themselves for a day. Yes, that old fashioned sugar induced coma stand aka as a lemonade stand. Assign each person a certain job to get the stand started. One can make signs for the stand, another set up the stand with cups, napkins and other tools, another make the lemonade. Once the stand is up and running have the kids take turns handling the money and pouring lemonade. At the end of the day have them count the money they earned and decide what they are going to do with it. Don’t forget to be the first customer of the day and rave how great the lemonade is.
Just a few simple ideas will keep the boredom blues away this summer. Your kids will have learned more by reading and how to run their own business for a day. Not to mention they may even find out a little more about a local business. Keeping the kids happy does not have to cost a lot, just putting in the time and effort will mean the world to them. So go and enjoy the dog days of summer with the kids. I am sure you will not hear the “Mom, we’re bored” chant.