Have Fun In The Sun This Summer!

Every once in a while, my wife has great thoughts and suggestions for raising children. Here are her latest:

If you are anything like me and my husband, the thought of summer break brings significant medical symptoms. The reality of the three months with the children at home evokes palpitations, headache, indigestion and dizziness. Please don’t misunderstand me, I love my children. I think that they are great people and fun to be around- most of the time. The problem that I have is that school is, well, free, and, just because they are out of school does not mean my husband and I can stop working full-time, so I must find something for them to do. Camp is really expensive (and that’s only for a week!), summer programs are expensive, and the thought of them sitting there day after day watching TV and turning into pale, wide-eyed zombies just doesn’t appeal.

I have found a couple of options that I am hoping will work for our family-

1) A Parks and Recreation program. Relatively cheap and they will take the kids on fun outings.

2) Find a teacher friend who has kids of his/her own. Offer to swap kid sitting services or pay them- they might appreciate a little extra cash and their kids will have some one play with.

3) Make it fun. Get two large jars (big pickle jars will work great) and sit down and have the kids write ideas for the day. Free ideas such as draw paintings with chalk or play in the sprinklers go in one jar, and special ideas such as a movie or miniature golf go in the other.

4) Educate. Have them choose something, anything that they would like to learn about. Take them to the library and help them to read about it and search the internet. Drag it out- for instance, if they want to learn about a country, have them choose a cuisine and help to prepare it one day, and give a short presentation to the family the next.

5) Ask around to see if there is a place that offers reading incentives. In our city, a local restaurant gives free baseball tickets to children if they read a certain number of books. It has motivated our daughter to read more.

Hopefully these tips can ease you past the attacks of panic when your child comes bounding in the front door screeching “only six more days of school!!”