Summer vacation is what everyone spends most of their year looking forward to. Weeks on end of family time, happy children in the backyard and weekend visits to the beach. But what happens when the weeks drag on and your kids start getting bored and tired of being at home all day every day? Keeping your little ones stimulated and entertained for the whole summer can become quite a task, and as a parent, you might start feeling frustrated and unsure how to keep them happy and busy during these times. Here are a few fun and no-screen ways to keep your kids busy over the summer.
Kids of all ages love to keep their hands busy and make things, whether that’s with mud (lucky you, mom) or something more constructive like clay. Challenge your kids to create their home, your family pet, a dinosaur or whatever else their hearts desire out of clay and watch them go quiet for hours on end. For older kids, purchase some air dry clay and paints so that they can create and paint some real masterpieces to show their friends and teachers when they get back to school.
Most kids love cooking, and learning skills in the kitchen is a great way to develop their practical life skills and get theminterested in something other than their toys or the TV. Let them choose their favourite dessert (hopefully not something too complicated) and have a family baking day together, letting them help with measuring ingredients, mixing batters, pouring into moulds and cups and the best part – decorating. Let your kids run wild with decorating your creations: icing, sprinkles, the works. You’ll all have a great time and have a tasty reward at the end.
Read a Book
In 2021, the concept of reading a book for pleasure is foreign to some kids. Develop in your children a love of reading that will carry them through life by taking them to the local library once every week or two and allow them to choose books that interest them to read. If your kids are younger, let them choose stories that you can read to them at bedtime and let them fall in love with stories – this will help grow their vocabulary and expand their imagination tenfold.
Start a Veggie Garden
A great long-term activity for you and your kids is to start a veggie garden in the summer. Go to the store to pick out some seeds and guide them through how to plant them and take care of them while they grow. This will be educational (winning!) and fun for everyone involved, and it will give the little ones something to get excited about as the weeks go by. Hopefully,by the end of summer, you’ll be able to pick some fresh spinach from the garden to add to your dinner (they might even eat it).
Go Camping at Home
You don’t need to face the great outdoors to take your kids camping this summer – they’ll probably get just as excited about the backyard. Setting up the tent in the garden and filling it up with loads of blankets, cushions, toys and books will be a great way to let them do something a little different and exciting without costing you any money. You could have a barbeque in the backyard for dinner and roast some marshmallows so that it feels like real camping. Stargaze, read stories in your tent and spend some good quality time together away from the usual glare of the screens indoors.
As much fun as the camping at home setup might be, it’s also a great idea to really get outside and explore. With the current state of the world, many of us are spending far too much time at home and indoors, and this is especially damaging and tiresome for children. Take your kids out in nature for some exploring this summer, so they can get some sun and learn a little more about the world around them.
Have Some Water Fun
If you can’t go to a waterpark, bring the waterpark to you. All you really need is a hosepipe in your backyard, but a blow-uppool can do wonders for hot and sleepy kids in the summer. Make sure that you or someone else is always available to keep an eye on them, but a cool splash in the summer can eat away hours of time in the most fun way possible.