Summer is a time for kids to take a break from the demands of school, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t grow and learn during the summer months. Summer is the perfect time for kids to get involved in different kinds of activities where they will develop new skills and have new, fun experiences. A little planning can get them out of the house more, too, so you don’t have hermits hiding out in the basement playing Mindcraft all afternoon!
Arts & Crafts Projects – Arts and crafts projects are a great way for kids to spend the summer months. Through arts and crafts they will learn self-expression and have the opportunity to share their ideas and creativity. These kinds of projects can be done at home or in the community through art classes, community murals, and day camps. Check out BabbaBox – www.babbaco.com which offers a cool monthly art project in a box! Handy!
Volunteer Work – This is a wonderful way for children to learn more about the world around them and begin to understand the different issues facing their community. Parents should get involved by helping to process the feelings, questions, and reflections that the kids experienced as a result of their volunteer work. Contact your local American Red Cross, the hospital, animal shelter or local churches for programs and projects.
Team Building Activities – Many team building activities and exercises can be found at day camps or summer programs. Kids will learn to work together toward a shared goal and therefore develop their communication and compromising skills. These experiences will help your child increase confidence, understanding and self-esteem. Camps, schools and recreation centers offer gobs of opportunity to build teamwork and leadership skills!
Reading Together – Reading has so many wonderful benefits fro kids and reading TOGETHER is a great way to spend quality time together! Take a look at some of the great reading lists put together by parents online or start a book club with neighbors! Also, join the campaign to read just 15 minutes per day with your child! WISE is an affiliate and we want to get you involved too – go to www.readaloud.org and sign up. You’ll get a free Jumpstart reading kit!
Journaling – Journaling is another creative way that kids can document their experiences over the summer months. It’s a great way for kids to reflect and share about their lives, experiences and opinions. Each of the above summer activities can be enriched by including journaling throughout the activity. Watch for GREAT journaling ideas in our August blog!
And if you don’t feel like doing anything but sitting in the backyard and eating a grape-flavored popsicle, DO IT! Summertime with kids is precious…and fleeting! Enjoy it while it is here!