Boredom is a breeding ground for mischief – all you need to do is look back at your own childhood to know this! When a child is bored, they find a way to satisfy that boredom (and it usually isn’t the way we, as parents, wish it would be handled).
Having a plan for keeping young kids occupied during their time off from school is important for both their sanity and your own.
6 Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy
Want to keep your young children busy and occupied this summer? We’ve compiled a list of some different options. We’ve tried to make the list versatile to appeal to as many different personality types as possible.
- Games and Puzzles
Kids love games and puzzles. Not only are they fun, but they’re also educational. When you use age-appropriate materials, it can help your children’s analytical and creative thinking skills.
While you can always buy games and puzzles at the store, you also have the option of creating your own. Wire-o book printing makes it easy to design and print your own unique activity books for each child.
- Reading Challenges
Create a summer reading list with your child, and set a challenge to read a certain number of books. This can help foster a love for reading and improve their language skills. Plus, visiting the public library every week is a great summer outing in and of itself!
- Nature Scavenger Hunts
Take kids to a nearby park, beach, or forest for a nature walk. You can make it more interesting by organizing a scavenger hunt – this not only makes the walk fun but also encourages observation skills.
- Gardening Projects
Why not start a garden at your house? Raised bed gardens are easy to start and give kids the pleasure of watching something grow over time. It’s especially powerful if you start with seeds. You can also go with starter plants for more immediate satisfaction. Tomato and pepper plants are always good choices (as they tend to produce a lot over the course of a summer).
- Day Trips
Consider taking day trips together as a family to the mountains, lake, or a nearby city. Plan a picnic, tour a museum, find a new playground. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing – the simple act of getting out of town and changing up the environment is helpful for keeping kids occupied and engaged.
- Structured Camps
While it’s good to give kids the freedom to do things at home and choose their own fun, there’s also something powerful about creating some structure. There’s something powerful about putting a child in a place where they must respond to structure and authority. The occasional summer camp is a great option.
While you might not be comfortable sending a child away to overnight camp just yet, day camps are a good choice. You can find camps that focus on topics your child is interested in, such as horseback riding, gymnastics, art, or baseball. Plus, it gives you, the parent, a nice reprieve.
The Benefits of Keeping Kids Busy During the Summer
While summer break is a much-needed respite from academics, it’s also essential to keep the learning process active. Engaging kids in activities that are both fun and educational can help prevent the summer slide – a term used to describe the learning loss children can experience over the summer break.
Summer activities can provide the perfect platform for kids to discover new passions and learn new skills. Be it arts, sports, cooking, or coding, these newfound interests could become lifelong hobbies or even future career paths.
Furthermore, in a world of excessive screen time, keeping kids busy with varied activities can ensure a healthier balance between screen time and physical or creative pursuits. This balance is vital for their physical health, creativity, and social skills development.
Set Your Family Up for Success
Summer shouldn’t be a “free for all” where kids wake up whenever they want, play video games all day, and then doze off to bed with Netflix running in the background. If you want your family to have an enjoyable and productive summer, it’s important that you create some structure by giving them activities to occupy their time. Hopefully, this article has given you some helpful ideas!