For some families, summertime means shipping the kids off to summer camp (either sleep away or the day variety), or packing the kids off to a swim club with a babysitter. For others, mom or dad will be staying home with the kids, or they’ll be spending time with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. When they’re older, they might be left to their own devices to while away the hours at home. The point is, there are tons of ways that kids spend their summer vacation, but no matter what the option there’s one thing that’s pretty clear – kids spend a lot more time at home during the summer than they do during the school year. And, for all the excitement about their impending “freedom” that bubbles up in the last few weeks of school, they get bored… quickly.
Despite your best efforts, your kids will inevitably find themselves home during the day at some point this summer. To help keep the boredom at bay, we’ve rounded up a few activities that will keep the kids entertained – and keep them away from the television and video games!
Okay, so our take on a Book Club doesn’t exactly keep kids away from the television, but hear us out! What we propose is that you assign your child and their friends a book to read over a two week period. The reward at the end: a fun-filled movie night where they get to watch the movie adaptation of the book with their friends. If you’re feeling ultra-brave, turn movie night into a sleep over. In either case, ask the kids some questions about the book before showing them the movie so you can hear about their favorite characters and favorite parts of the book. Reward them with treats for participating in the discussion (individual candies like Twizzlers or Swedish Fish work wonders, as would “healthy” snacks like Ants on a Log or Apple Nachos)
Wondering how you’re possibly going to pick a book that kids haven’t already seen the movie for? Check out these classic (and not so classic) titles:
- James and the Giant Peach
- The Borrowers
- Charlotte’s Web
By “assigning” a book to read, this will give your kids an opportunity to do something other than plop in front of the television, and the movie night reward will give them the motivation to finish the book.
Looking for something that’s a bit quieter and maybe involves a lot less kids? Try this:
Board Games or Card Games
A great way to keep kids occupied is to teach them a new game. Classic board games like Backgammon are pretty easy to learn, but addicting enough that kids and/or their friends will be kept occupied for a while. If you’re picking a two player game and there’s more than two kids present, set it up in a way that the next on the list gets to play the “winner.” In two-player games the rate of play is also quicker than playing a board game like Monopoly or Life, which means kids will stay engaged for longer, since they won’t necessarily be expected to be paying attention for hours at a time. And while kids are waiting for their turn, they can be reading their movie night book! See what we did there?
Group card games – such as Rummy or War – are also a great idea for larger groups. Each “hand” is played relatively quickly, which will keep kids looking forward to the next round and won’t lead to the issue that usually happens when someone breaks out the Monopoly box. (You know what we’re talking about – by the time you’re finished doling out all that fake money, everyone has lost interest.)
We want your school and PTO/PTA to be ready when you and the kids are out of ideas and they’re back to school. Let us help you get ready by organizing your payments, forms and information online, conveniently, securely, in one place, at www.Pay4SchoolStuff.com. Call us (877-397-2937) or e-mail ([email protected]) today.