27 ways to keep your child positively engaged over the summer months (most of them without using electronics)
Parents take note: These activities require scheduling, because although the kids are out of school, rarely are the parents off work. So parents, try one or two times a week to do an activity. Choose a day it will happen and schedule it with your family.
Don’t fall into the trap that the kids just need a break. Learning can be fun, and learning loss can occur if we don’t keep them engaged.
- Find a camp or activity that he or she is interested in.
- Find out what your child is interested in, and find ways to help them gain experience. For example: Writing poetry or on social issues, have them start a free blog.
- Talk to your child’s teacher on what websites and activities would be good to keep him or her learning.
- Explore nature; get a book on rocks, birds, animals. Then go out to find what you’ve read about.
- Go house hunting; teach your children the difference between renting and buying, and ask them what their preferences are in a home. Note: If you’re not sure, ask a real estate friend to show them a couple of different homes.
- For career exploration, go to www.bls.gov.
- To teach entrepreneurship, explain the difference between being an entrepreneur and being an employee.
- Have your children come to work with you or another family member and interview different employees.
- Play board games and social skills-building games. Use a search engine to find “Ice breakers.”
- Try different recipes.
- Go to the beach.
- Each of you take a book outside and read.
- Sign up for the free bowling program at www.kidsbowlfree.com.
- Assign a book report on something they are interested in.
- Create a survey to find out their interests.
- Have your child create a survey to find the interests of their family members.
- Explore a historic building.
- Explore a library; have a librarian teach them how to use the library.
- Attend a camp or a summer school program.
- Assign a current event report; assign each child a day to summarize a current event.
- Play a sport they’ve never played before.
- Go camping, but first read about the campgrounds to learn its history.
- Take an art class; it doesn’t have to be taught by a professional — try a student artist.
- Apply for grants and scholarships; there are grants for all ages.
- Study environmental issues at websites like captainplanetfoundation.com and constellation.com.
- Teach kids manners, how to set a table, what fork to use, etc.
- Have them write an actual letter to a relative and mail it using snail mail.
Visit mneep.org and find the summer activity guide, and visit www.ohe.state.mn.us/summerenrichment for scholarships.
Shatona Kilgore-Groves is a parent coach and advocate with The Black Parent Group. She welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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