Keeping the children entertained during the long, hot, summer afternoons can be quite a challenge. For some parents, summer camps provide a solution to this dilemma, but not everybody can afford or choose to spend hundreds of additional dollars just to keep the children occupied. Taking expensive trips which involves hotel rents and airfare is also not always an option.
Here are a few tips for providing summer activities for children that will keep them busy and happy:
Rediscover the magic:
This summer introduce your children to the magic of classic Hollywood cinema. For each week of the month, select a classic and ask your child to read the book first and then watch the adaptation together. Whether it is the delightful Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” the pretty “Mary Poppins,” or brave Jim in “Treasure Island” select books according to your child’s age and get them enchanted by these timeless characters. Older children might prefer “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “A Little Princess” and “The Secret Garden.” Chuck your household chores for an evening and watch the movies with your children for a perfect family evening. Don’t forget the popcorn!
Invite friends or cousins
Have kids of similar age groups get together for a while depending on your resources and temperament. Rent age-appropriate movies, take them for hikes or picnics, have ice cream or pool parties or let them get involved in social work or voluntary activities. This is especially helpful if your kid is an only child and had no siblings.
Invest in puzzle and activity books
Dot-to-dot books, word search puzzles, crossword puzzles, logic problems, mazes, fit-the-word and jigsaw puzzles are great mind boosters and enhance children’s mental capabilities. They are also an ideal way to while away the long summer afternoons when children cannot play outdoors. Be there to piece together a difficult part or help them in their deducing quest. Remember to select books that are age-appropriate. Too easy and your child will get bored quickly; too difficult and they’ll give up entirely.
Help your child start a collection
Discuss a theme or a topic and help your child become an expert on that specific subject. It could be aeroplanes, boats, birds, coins, dolls, space exploration or any other topic of your child’s interest. Help him collect pictures and information from old newspapers, magazines and the Internet and compile them in a scrap book or journal. By the end of summer vacations, you’ll be proud of your little resident expert.
Visit historical places together
Don’t leave it to the tourists to experience the wonderful sights and sounds of your city. This summer make a list of all the historical places and theme parks that are in the vicinity. Remember to include your children’s suggestions and preferences. Visit the museums, forts, beaches and wildlife parks. Keep a lookout for advertisements in local newspapers and take them to funfairs, puppet shows, art exhibitions, book fairs and any other activity that they cannot attend during school days.
For more tips on how to have productive summer holidays: