Avoiding the “I’m Bored” Chorus This Summer

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to occupy time this summer. Simple activities that don’t cost a bundle can actually help everyone enjoy summer without turning parents into cruise directors. But keep in mind, it’s important to schedule – without over-scheduling – your child while still allowing time for free play.

Set some summer guidelines.

  • With longer days comes more daylight so they may be able to stay out of the house later. Set a “in the house” deadline and determine boundaries for neighborhood exploring/wandering.
  • If they’re planning a day out with friends or at a friend’s house, set “check-in” times and confirm contact info for other caregivers.
  • If you’re child has a mobile phone, it can be your best tool for summer survival. Set emergency contacts numbers and even alarm times to remind the child of check-in times.
  • And with regards to household safety…makes sure guidelines are in place. Pool play time and supervision…no BBQ grilling privileges w/o adults…houseguest rules, etc.

Use all the extra downtime as a chance to teach your children some self-reliance that may even pay off in making them good houseguests elsewhere. Adding some basic chores to the list of daily to-do’s can do the trick…and kill some time.

  • Something as simple as feeding the fish…to other major tasks like making their bed or vacuuming.
  • Make their own breakfast/lunch…and clean it up.
  • Sort their laundry…and maybe even a crash course in how to use the washer/dryer.
  • And all of this may be more worth their time by incentivizing with an allowance or a big end-of-summer trip.
    • PracticalMoneySkills.com has a great allowance calculator parents can use to determine how much your child should earn…and how it even compares to your allowance growing up as a kid.
    • http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/personalfinance/lifeevents/parenting/allowances.php#comparison

Plan an excursion.

  • Day trips to local swimming areas, local libraries or museums, state parks, outdoor concerts, hiking trails or sporting events.
  • Plan a backyard sleepover or neighborhood street fair.
  • Plan a camping trip and research destination.

More ideas for the sandbox.

  • Take a class at community recreation center – photography or computer classes can be a lot of fun for kids
  • Find kid volunteer opportunities – at the library, swimming pool, retirement center, build a playground, community art/gardening project
  • Schedule and/or host regular playdates
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