School is over. It’s summer time! And when your children are all home, it means double the fun… and the effort.
Gone are the days when summer break simply means playing outdoors with the neighborhood kids all day long. Today’s young generation is different. They’d rather play online games than play outdoors.
So while the internet is always readily available, my husband and I try hard to regulate the amount of time our children spend online. We also monitor the websites they visit to make sure they are not exposed to things that are inappropriate for minors.
Below is a list of fun things to do to keep our children preoccupied during summer break.
1. Bring out the good ol’ board games.
Monopoly, Scrabble, Snakes and Ladders, Pictionary, UNO stacko, what-have-you. Playing board games or card games makes children think. They learn to take turns and to accept rewards & consequences. This is a good time to bond with your kids, too.
2. Play at the park.
Plan an outdoor play and have a picnic. Children can go running, jumping, play Frisbee or go biking. Bring them out to the sun. Release their energy. The goal is to keep them physically active and of course, happy.
3. Build, draw, paint.
Children bring out their creativity when they build Legos, draw, paint or do arts and crafts. They also develop patience and perseverance. There is also a sense of accomplishment once they finish a project. Remember to take photos and display their art work.
4. Cook or bake.
Cook or bake at home with your kids. Make them help out or better yet, let them do it by themselves even if it means a messy kitchen. My kids and I have a list of things to bake like cookies and cupcakes. They love it. Allow the kids to have fun. Just be there to guide them and of course, to take pictures.
5. Organize an outreach program.
Make summer vacation meaningful by asking your children to donate their old toys and clothes to less fortunate children. Ask them to sort them out. Let them decide for themselves what they would like to donate. Organize a group of friends, if possible. By doing this, you are not only teaching your kids to share but also to appreciate what they have.
6. Catch up on some reading.
My husband and I usually bring our kids to the bookstore. We allow them to buy books that they like. More than toys, we prefer to get them books. Summer vacation is a good time to read because you can do it at your own pace. Instill in them the habit of reading. Get them books that interest them and make sure they actually read them. Take this time to catch up on your own reading, too.
7. Arrange play dates with cousins, friends, and classmates.
Invite the moms too for some afternoon tea. Let the kids play and have fun while the moms relax and catch up.
8. Visit museums and/or art galleries.
Don’t wait for the field trips arranged by the school to expose your kids to art. Do it with them this summer. Make your children learn more about the arts to help them appreciate beauty. We brought our kids to The National Museum last summer and they loved it. The museum offers free entrance for everyone so grab this chance.
9. Let your children join a vacation Bible Camp for kids.
Check your local church if they offer one. Although not every church offers this, you can always ask around.
Your kids will enjoy the company of other children while doing praise and worship. More importantly, they will learn more about God, which my husband and I believe is very important.
10. Enroll them in a summer class program.
These days, many summer schools offer different classes. Check out your children’s school, too. Some schools offer sports (swimming, soccer, basketball, taekwondo, and gymnastics), dance (ballet, hip hop, ballroom or tap), music (singing, playing the piano or flute or violin or guitar), and theater or acting classes. As parents, we need to know our children’s interests, boost their potential, and enhance their talents.
11. Take time off for a well-deserved trip or staycation.
Go on an adventure with your kids. Either travel to a domestic or international destination. Go to the nearest beach or just spend a weekend at a nice hotel with a pool. Remember, your kids need to have a break from ten months of stressful school activities. Take this time to relax, rejuvenate, and make awesome memories with your children.
By: Abbi Cabigao-Paras