Summer is a great time to slow down and find time to relax. Fewer scheduled activities, however, can leave kids repeating that annoying phrase, “I’m bored.” They may be at a loss to find ways to occupy their time when their days are usually planned for them the rest of the year. So use these tips this summer to help your kids stay engaged, feel a sense of accomplishment, and have fun all at the same time!
- Set up a home learning lab or visit a local makerspace. Makerspaces have been popular for some time now. They are places where kids and adults gather to invent and explore. They can be found in many community schools, libraries, and some are even coming to hospitals. Setting up a creative space at home that contains some hand tools and craft items may be the lure kids need to get their creative juices flowing. Projects range from simple to complex. Some kids may find inspiration just by exploring the items in the space, others may need some guidance figuring out what to make. Start small by crafting a balloon-propelled car (see the Instructables website) or the sky is the limit with a 3-D printer to make designs and inventions come to life. Check out these websites for ideas on how to create your own makerspace or for project ideas:
- Go on a treasure hunt. You can hide your own treasure for your kids to find or logon to the website geocaching.com. People around the globe are hiding little treasures for others to find. They post their geocache listings for anyone to participate in. All you need to do is register by providing your email and creating a username and password. Then enter your zip code and you are on your way to find treasures using your own GPS device or clues from the listing. When you locate the treasure, which varies from small magnetic key holders to boxes of goodies, replace it with a new treasure and write about the experience on the website. It can be a really fun family activity!
- Tour a local business or factory. Field Trip Factory has over 2,000 locations across the U.S. and Canada that offer fun, sometimes behind-the-scenes looks at stores and businesses in your area. These are great learning experiences that get kids exploring their community. Kids might also love to tour a factory that makes delicious treats or some of their favorite items, such as an ice cream or toy factory. See how some of their favorite items are made and they might even get a sample at the end of the tour.
- Try something new. Summer’s longer days allows extra time to learn a new sport or skill. Pick up that guitar that has been sitting in the corner and learn to play. Take up cooking, learn to code, or form a jewelry making business. Kids will learn a new skill, be creative, and make a little extra money.
- Start a blog. Practicing to use proper grammar and spelling, organizing ideas, and pursuing creative writing might not be at the top of your kids’ lists of summer must-do activities. But these are all the skills they will practice when writing a blog. Kids will love to share their blogs with family and friends. It can be a wonderful record of a moment in time and may help bud an aspiring writer. For tips about writing a blog have kids check out http://kidslearntoblog.com/.
- Contact a grandparent or older family friend. Learn something new about them. As we all know, kids can learn a lot from the older generation. And grandparents often love sharing interesting stories about a different period of time. Encourage kids to record their grandparent’s tales and ask questions. They won’t regret spending this time together.