I don’t want to alarm you, but did you know that summer vacation is only a few weeks away?
I’m going to let that sink in for a moment. In a few short weeks, your child is going to be at home all. day. long. That means you can say goodbye to having any food in the refrigerator, a clean house, and your kid is going to be B.O.R.E.D. after the novelty of summer vacation has worn off.
If you’re facing the dread of three whole months of entertaining your child and are totally strapped for ideas, never fear. I’ve come up with a few fun (and hopefully time-consuming) tips on keeping your child occupied for most of the summer.
(Be sure to also check out my list of 10 activities kids can do during the summer)
1. Have a weekly points reward system. I got this idea from Redditor Klaroline who shared the list at the right that her grounded friend received from her mom with chores attached to points. If she earned a specific amount of points, her mom would “unground” her. Ever since seeing this, I’ve been dying to use it. And while I can think of a dozen things to ground my kid over at this very moment, I want to put a positive spin on this as a fun idea for summer – assign the kids a weekly amount of points to earn, and if they finish it, they get a fun prize on the weekend. Prizes can include anything your child might want – a trip out for ice cream, an hour at the batting cages, swimming at the lagoon, etc. This will help ensure your kids do a little extra work instead of lazing around.
2. Plan a summer bucket list – and DO IT NOW before summer starts! Sit down with the kids and have them brainstorm some realistic ideas on how they would like to spend each day (or week) of their summer vacation. Then you can do one of two things – you can go ahead and assign these activities to each day, or you can drop the ideas in a bowl and choose at random. (strapped for ideas? Check out this list of 10 cool things you can do for cheap!)
3. Splurge a little, and send your child to summer camp. There are quite a few daycamps in our area that will allow your kids to get out of the house and do something fun, and meet a few new friends while they’re at it. Or you can really go wild and send them to an overnight camp and have a whole week to yourselves (and then cross off everything on your own bucket list of things you’d like to do when the kids aren’t around ). The Press Democrat has a list of the available camps in our area for every kid’s interest, which you can find at pressdemocrat.com/camps.
4. Challenge them to create a new “thing” each week. They can make a photo album, write a book, invent a new board game, craft a fashionable new outfit out of interesting materials (see this for inspiration), write and perform a screenplay, create a collection (like a slimy bug jar, leaf scrapbook, rock garden…). The possibilities are endless!
5. Get a job. Just kidding….sort of. What I actually mean is to find ways to earn a little extra money during their school-free months. They can do odd jobs around the neighborhood, set up a lemonade stand or a bake sale, sell their things at a garage sale, do a few extra chores for money, give their grandparents a hand…
Have more ideas? Leave them in the comments!