Summer time and the living’s easy, right Not always the case when you have a house full of teens and pre-teens. While they say they can’t stand school, the first thing they seem to do is whine and complain about being bored.The key to defeating this boredom and making a memorable summer break is to keep them busy! We want to be on the go and have their minds and bodies stimulated. You may be exhausted at the end of the day, but you won?t be bored. Here are seven ways to keep the youngsters busy this summer, and not let the boredom set in. Don’t worry, not everything is on the go, we have things to help them keep their mind busy too!
Did you ever see the movie Meatballs?Well, that is what I always envisioned camp to be when I was kid. Once I went though, I realized the camaraderie was real and the shenanigans weren’t. My only wish is that they had adult summer camps like they have for the kids. Make sure to research costs and locations. Not all summer camps are sleepover, some are day to day, and drop off. Whatever you choose, you’ll get a nice little break and the kids will have fun and meet new friends.
Obviously this is similar to a traditional summer camp, but focused on the athletic kids. If you have any major college or professional teams near you, there is a decent chance you can get your kid signed up to have some hands-on training in the sport of their choice. Many of these camps expose kids to coaches and give them the opportunity to learn from elite players.
Art School or Camps
If your child has an artistic bent, you can’t go wrong with contacting a local art gallery or museum and find out what types of classes they offer. Don’t worry if you don’t live anywhere near the MoMA – many local galleries will run art classes throughout the summer. Inquire about drawing, painting, sculpting and even photography.
Oh, the dreaded school word. The reality is, kids dont always benefit from having 10 weeks or so off of school. Generally after about four to six weeks, a student can start to regress in what they finished the school year knowing. Keep things fresh by signing up for virtual classes. These don’t have to be necessarily the core courses. This is a great time for younger kids to see what types of classes they may be interested in, and take some elective courses. These aren?t only for high schoolers either, there are many online middle school courses available too. As a bonus, many states are starting to require students take an online course before graduation.
Every kid can benefit from learning about giving back to their community. While most people get the volunteering bug out of them around Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is always a need for helpers. Have your kids volunteer at a food kitchen once a week and they’ll start to appreciate what they have and they will learn empathy in the process.
Get a Job
Yes, older kids can benefit from getting a part time summer job. Work at the local fast food joint, or even at the YMCA as a camp counselor. They’ll earn money and be able to start learning financial literacy at the same time. Plus, it looks good on an application to college that they were able to maintain a job.
Not everyday will be beach weather, on those rainy days when you don?t really feel like getting outside break out the old games. Have a marathon of fun with Monopoly, Jenga, Yahtzee, Pictionary, and any other games you have. To make it even better put stakes on the losers of each game. Whoever loses has to cook dinner for the family, or make a dessert.
These are just a few ideas for keeping the kids from losing their minds (and you from losing yours too!). Think about your childhood, what were the memorable things you did I’m betting it wasn?t sleeping in until noon and doing nothing until night time. More likely, the summers that stand out are the ones where you did lots of things and were kept on the run. Remember those fun times, and try to recreate them for your kids. They’ll thank you, I?m certain of it!
James Cash is a family professional and part time writer.