Kids are a joy, a blessing and a real pain-in-the-ass! Made even more the latter during the holiday’s… Yes, I am talking about “summer vacation”. You know those evil 2 months when even the teachers don’t want to be around your little demons, and you are constantly bombarded with various versions of ‘I’m bored‘ day-in-and-day-out non-stop, to the point that you just want to stop, grab the little jerks, shake them and scream at the top of your lungs….
“BORED? YOUR BORED? Well MUST BE NICE!!! Perhaps you would like to do the laundry? Make lunch? Make dinner? Mop the floor for the fifteenth time this week? What’s that…? Oh you’re not BORED anymore… Hmmmm…”
or simply pack your bags and leave.
Whatever the case, there are some easy and effective ideas for keeping kids busy during the summer holidays that I want to share. These ideas will not only entertain the kids, but keep you relatively close to sanity as well… (Unless your teetering on the edge to start with, in which case I make no promises!)
The Secret of a Successful Summer and Some Sanity to Spare:
- Summer Camp – Nothing breaks-up the holiday, or fights off insanity, like good old Summer Camp. A week or two of overnight camp for the kids is a great way to keep them entertained, help them lean, grow and experience the world, and enjoy some peace and quiet yourself. Most cities provide ample camp options for parents through over-night ‘away’ camps, or day camp options. If cost is an issue looking into your local resources, most cities have options for camp sponsorship so you can send your children away without much cost on you. Truly though, look at it as an investment and save ahead of time… Trust me it is worth the coin.
- Grandma and Grandpa – If camp is not an option consider creating your own escape with the help of family members. Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles can be a great resource if available. Plan a mini-vacation for your kids by sending them to see relatives for a week, a month, or even a day. It doesn’t even matter if they life around the corner from you, or across the street, the main goal here is to get them out of the house, and get yourself some alone time. The change of environment, and noise level, will be good for everyone. Contact these people ahead of time… In fact, it is best to bring up such plans close to Christmas when it is hard for people to say no!
- Share the Joy – Get together with other parents and arrange ‘summer play dates’ where you each take turns hosting the kids at your house. You may have to put up with a day of extra noisy children, but it will be well worth it when it is another parents turn to host.
- Aim for Amusement – Amusement Parks are another great option for keeping kids happy during the long break from school. Check out your local listings for a park nearby and gather the kids up for an outing. Amusement Parks are guaranteed to keep the kids busy for at least one day, if your children are older, and the park is close to home, consider purchasing a seasons pass. Kids never get sick of roller coasters and you will have a few hours to yourself.
- Hit the Beach – The local beach, park, pond or river is a great way to get the kids out of your hair and give them something to do. Pack snacks, drinks, sunscreen and a blanket and head for the water. The kids can play and you can relax. Grab a friend or relative and take turns keeping an eye on them at the water so you each get the enjoyment of not having to worry and the kids stay safe.
- Lifelong Learning – Sign the kids up for some sort of lessons or sport over the summer. Not only will lessons help promote hobbies and education, they will give you an hour of peace each week. Karate, music lessons, dance, or sports are great options and many are available at low-cost options.
- Literally Lounge – The local library is a great resource for parents. Most libraries offer free or low-cost courses, groups and activities for children of all ages. Many of which are ‘parent free’ Check out your local library to see what they offer, in the very least you will have enough time to enjoy a good book and let your mind savor the silence.
- Trust Tradition – When we were young summer vacation was spent outdoors. We came in for a quick-lunch and got called in for dinner. Trust tradition and kick the kids outside for the day when you are feeling overwhelmed. Have them ride their bikes, set up a sprinkler, or build a tree-house. Children are often creative, provide them with a few items and let their imaginations run free.
- Stock Up – Be prepared for boredom but stocking up on entertaining items. Arts and crafts, movies and board games are great ways to beat boredom or waste away a rainy day. Keep a box, or closet, of useful items handy and point it out when you hear complaints.
- Last Resort – If all else fails look to someone else to do the hard work for you. Daycare centers and babysitters should not be forgotten during long summer days. Hire someone, or send the kids off for a few hours each week to help break up the routine. Summer is a great time to hire a sitter as there are many students willing to work for a little pocket-money and daycare centers often provide part-time or casual discounts to tired parents. Let someone else take over and take some time to yourself.
Don’t let the strain of summer stress you out, having children does not have to mean losing your mind. Look for creative ways to keep the kids busy and ask for help when you need it. Chances are your parents remember how hard summer vacation could be and will be more than willing to lend a hand. Most of all enjoy the time summer provides for families, before long your kids won’t want your advice, so plan ahead and make the best of the warm weather.
Possibly, But Probably Un-Related Articles
- We Love Summer Camp! (dancedaze.org)
- Summer Camp for Moms (simplydianeblog.com)
- Everyone Deserves Summertime Fun! (autismspeaks.org)
- Summer Child Care Questions (turbotax.intuit.com)
- Summer is Just Around the Corner! (fvhorsecamp.wordpress.com)
- Summer’s Here by mary elizabeth (livinglightinternational.wordpress.com)
- Summer holidays (r2gobucksberks.wordpress.com)
- 5 Steps to Summer Sanity: Goal Setting (Part 3) (inspiredbirthpro.com)
- Keeping my Sanity by Losing my Mind: Mindful Mama Carnival Post (imperfecthappiness.wordpress.com)