Tips to Making it a Fun & Productive Summer

Summer is here!!!  I love summer.  My kids schedules get more relaxed and as a result we all relax a bit.  But it is easy for the summer to fly by with nothing accomplished.  Yes accomplished.  Things can be done in the summer to to make it productive but the focus has to be on making sure that these things are fun.  Below are some kids to having a productive and FUN summer with your kids:

  • Have your kids create summer goals: Ask your kids what they want to accomplish in the summer.  Things they normally don’t have time to do during the school year.  Make the goal simple.  For example, if your kids have always wanted to learn to cook or bake, ask them what they would like to cook or bake.  The goal could be to learn to make the perfect meatloaf, or learn how to make brownies from scratch.  Let them master one thing.  My middle daughter Amelia wanted to learn to make a robot during the summer, and while that sounds daunting, there were some very simple robots with instructions that I found online.  It could be learn to spiral a football, learn how to sew a button, create a collage of my friends, etc.  But use this time to create attainable goals that keeps them interested in learning fun things.
  • Create your own goals for your kids:  I use the summer to have the kids concentrate on things they don’t have to during the school year without the pressure of homework and bedtime.  For example last year I had all three of them start learning to type.  I found free lessons on line and would have each of them dedicate an 30 min to an hour a day doing the lessons.  I think learning how to type quickly will give them a leg up in high school when they have to type out assignments.  They will be able to do it much quicker and it isn’t really taught in school anymore.  I also have them sort the clothes and shoes that no longer fit them to give to charity.  These aren’t harsh chores and they do it together, play music and feel accomplished.

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  • Turn off the electronics:  Summer nights can be so relaxing and fun.  It is the perfect time to grab the family and watch a movie together but also try turning off the electronics and play board games.  Invite some friends, order some pizza and have some laughs.  My family loves the board game Reverse Charades and we laugh for hours.  Other games we enjoy are Family Feud and Pictionary.  You won’t regret it and you will make the best memories.
  • Create a book club:  Rather than just forcing your kids to read a book over the summer, get together with the mom’s of your kids friends and find a book for the mom and the kids to read.  Select a time to meet and discuss the book and make it a party for the parents and the kids.  It will be a less daunting task and more fun for everyone.  Also, if you choose a book that was made into a movie, you can not only get together to discuss the book but you can also make it a movie night!
  • Discover your city: So summer is the time to take road trips and family vacations, but have you ever treated your own city as a place to discover?  Try to find a historic spot to visit with your kids the same way you would any other city.  Try taking a tour that teaches you the history of the city.  I did one of these with my kids and I was surprised how much I didn’t know about about my hometown.  I also realized I passed some pretty historic and significant places for years and no idea that they had any sort of significance.  See your city like a tourist.
  • Try something new:  The summer is a great way to get things to try something new.  There are a ton of camps that you can pay for justs the week and kids could try something that may interest them such as robotics, coding, sewing, playing guitar, playing a sport, baton twirling, ceramics, theater, etc.  My mom would put me in all sorts of different camps for a short period of time and I learned what I like and what I didn’t.  Regardless, it is a great source of conversation when you tell people you learned how to twirl a baton.  Local community colleges, schools and rec centers are great options.

Whatever you do just enjoy it.  Summer for adults goes quickly but it is such an amazing break and it last so long for kids.  Make it a memorable summer!

 


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