FUN THINGS TO DO WITH THE KIDS THIS SUMMER
Growing-up, I was very lucky to have schoolteachers for parents because that meant my whole family could be together all summer long. My wonderful mother posted weekly calendars on the refrigerator of what she had planned for every day, so we three kids could have things to look forward to.
The world is very different now, so it takes a mix of old school and modern activities to keep the kiddies entertained these days, especially when they’re off from school for a couple of months. You definitely don’t want their summer to be full of just video games, television, and being glued to their phones.
So, as a former elementary school teacher myself, not to mention a major fun-lover, here are some of my ideas on how to keep the kids entertained on a daily basis this summer:
~ Beach day
~ Visit to the zoo or aquarium
~ Day trip to visit close-by-but-out-of-town pals who have kids of similar ages
~ On a rainy day, stay in and make written or picture diaries of “what I did this summer.”
~ Movie days, at home or in theaters again. (Watching one on a sheet in the backyard is especially fun!)
~ Nature walks
~ If you have to work throughout the summer, look into sending your kids to Day Camp, if there’s one in your area.
~ Have them do lots of fun basic sports, as long as there’s a safe place to do them, with some grown-up supervision
~ Here’s a novel idea—have them read books! Perhaps your childhood faves. Or have a book club with your fam, or they can do it with the kids in your neighborhood. Or…visit the library!
~ Go to special summer festivals, carnivals, bazaars, and fairs
~ Visit amusement or water parks
~ Have them emulate a young Steven Spielberg! His mother was a fan of my show, and called to ask me to review her restaurant on it! My parents were in town then, so Leah Adler hosted us all for dinner. My mother loved the story she told us about how Steven used to always make his own mini-movies when he was a kid. (My friends and I produced stage shows for the neighborhood, so I guess Spielberg was more prescient than we were because movies make waaay more money!) Your own children can do it all over the course of the summer, from writing to casting to wardrobe, to shooting. It will be very fun and uber-educational. (And who knows—perhaps it will also be a prelude to their own Oscar down the road!)
~ Take a day at a lake or park
~ Go on mini road trips to explore
~ Do a lot of “kindness days.” That’s the most important activity in my book. They can help at a hospital, clean-up a beach, do small errands for elderly neighbors, make cookies for friends, or just go through their closets and toys for donations. I hope there will be several of these days all summer, at least one a week.
~ Even have them do a “clean up the house day”
~ Hikes, (but never alone)
~ Dance parties
~ Camping under the stars, (in the backyard, of course, and only where it’s safe and with adult supervision.)
~ Barbecues, either at home or in the designated area of a neighborhood park
~ Drive-in movies, if you’re lucky enough to have any near enough to you
~ Museums, now that you have a whole day to spend there, without having to rush or be stuck in crowds.
~ There are all kinds of teaching situations that they don’t learn in school, such as home “cooking school,” now that there’s time to give it more attention, or art work that takes longer than can be done in one period of art class.
~ Game days, using just their minds. My fave was always Twenty Questions played sitting outside on a summer evening with relatives of all age groups.
~ Of course, Fourth of July fireworks. Some places even have them several times a summer, so check for that where you live.
~ And my fave—playing board games in the house on a rainy summer day!
I have to stop myself because if I go any further, forget the summer—they’ll need all year to get this all done!
Happy Having Family Fun!