By Diane Lang
Keeping your kids happy in the summer- it’s that time of year again. School is out and the heat is on. We want to have a fun summer but sometimes it’s tough. Kids get bored and we feel stressed with all we need to do. Here are some great tips to help have a great summer for the whole family.
Even though school is out; you still want them to keep up their chores. Set up times/days for chores. This will help keep their normal routine even in the summer.
The library is a great place for free fun. The library has various children activities and events throughout the library. For adults: Libraries also have great workshops, events and book signings for free. The library is a great place for everyone – take advantage of it this summer.
Most local libraries have reading programs for kids. These programs reward kids for reading. It’s a great way to motivate your kids to keep reading over the summer. Most libraries also give book suggestions for different ages.
While I’m talking about libraries: I find libraries to be a great place where I can bring my daughter and we can both enjoy the summer. My daughter can read a book or listen to story time while I get to read through my favorite magazine.
Have some educational fun with good old fashioned board games. Board games help with memory, fine motor skills (connect 4), problem solving and much more. Some great games: Monopoly, Sorry, Payday, etc.
Make sure your kids get plenty of physical exercise. This can be done at your local park (bring a picnic and make it an all day event). The local park near me has a track right next to the playground so I can get some exercise while watching my daughter play.
Kids need play dates with kids their own age. If your child doesn’t go to camp sign up your child for activities at your community center, park, library etc.
Look into discounts. Example: If you have all 3 services with cablevision (cable, phone and internet) you get a cablevision card which allows for Free Movies on Tuesdays and some mornings.
Field trips are a great way to spice up your days. It can be a local trip to a lake, beach or a park. Then mix it up with museums, shows and mini day trips to new local places.
Summer is a great time to get involved with volunteering. Find a local place that lets kids volunteer. Try to make it a weekly or biweekly activity. Volunteering builds kids self-esteem, teaches them respect for themselves and others. The bonus: helping others gives us an instant boost of happiness. So, the whole family can feel good.
Teach your kids some business skills. Have them start a_______ stand. Let your kids fill in the blank with their own ideas. It could be the traditional lemonade stand or they can get creative and sell other types of drinks and/or food. Let them be creative by naming their business, making the sign and decorating the table.
For parents: make sure to check into your local supermarket and health clubs, they usually have free daycare while you shop or use the gym. You can continue your normal routine while the kids have some fun!
Mother’s helpers – this is a great way for parents to get some free time while your child is entertained at your home. This is great for work at home parents. A mother’s helper is usually a student who wants to make some extra money so it’s usually inexpensive.
Self-care – to remain sane in the summer months, make sure to schedule in self-care. It’s important to make yourself a priority. Kids are visual learners. If you’re not feeling your best, your will kids will see it right away. Kids imitate our behaviors. Remember, Happy Parents = Happy Kids! Self-care will make you feel good. Take care of you.
For more information please visit Diane Lang’s website: www.dlcounseling.com
Or e-mail Diane at Lifeline36@aol.com