Summer vacation for many kids and their parents becomes a test of endurance rather than a special time to enjoy each other...marking off the calendar the days before the kids go back to school. Work to turn your summer into a memorable and rewarding adventure rather than a boring ordeal.
What do you do to prepare for the expected announcement of "I'm Bored!"?
1. Several guides are available to help like "300 Things to Do When Kids Say, "I'm Bored!""
2. Make a list of ideas that would be fun anytime you can plug them into the schedule. This list may also be used if an activity needs to be changed at the last minute.
3. Check which activities need advance planning and make necessary arrangements in plenty of time.
4. Make a list of any supplies those activities need for a particular week; or favorites when kids say they are bored. Collect or purchase them beforehand.
5. Set aside a special drawer for paint and craft clothes for everyone in the family to wear while doing messy projects.
6. Make sure the activities are age appropriate and safe. Younger children should be well supervised when using sharp tools or playing with small items they might swallow or stick in their nose or ears.
It's also important to inspire children to be self-motivated readers. Children may need incentives to help them discover the joy of reading. The incentives might include:
1. Making trips to the library as a family.
2. Setting a good example in your own reading habits.
3. Enjoying good books together as a family and reading aloud to children of all ages.
4. Encouraging your kids to begin a summer reading program. Have them start reading ten to fifteen minutes a day, gradually increasing the time. Make colorful charts that set weekly reading goals. A reward at the end of the week is a great incentive.
5. Starting a summer reading club with some of your children's friends. Charge a small fee to join and use the money to buy a gift certificate at your favorite bookstore for the one who read the most books.
Don't forget to encourage children to exercise their bodies as well as their minds. You might enroll your kids in a summer sports program to make sure they get in the habit of exercising regularly. Be sure to check on summer classes offered through the local library, museum, YMCA, 4-H program, scouting programs, parks and recreation departments. Lastly, you may send your children to summer camp. Everybody needs a break, including your kids. There are many excellent camps. Going away to camp teaches children flexibility, independence and responsibility. It helps with their social skills and personal growth. It also enables them to observe positive role models and broadens their understanding of other people from different walks of life.
With a little prior planning, summer is a great time to make memories that will last a lifetime for both children and parents.