As homework starts to wind down with the end of the school year, our kids are inclined to spend their newfound free time by jumping on the first electronic device they can find. You can head them off at the pass with these fun, surefire tactics to get them offline and outdoors!
Visit a fire station – most will give free tours to kids if you arrange it in advance.
Go to a ball game – this doesn’t have to mean shelling out big bucks. Look for local sporting events such as minor-league baseball or hockey.
Play a game – if you get together with your neighbors and their children, you could easily put together a game of capture the flag or kick the can.
Get involved – volunteering at a local animal shelter, or visiting a local retirement home to bring cheer to the residents not only makes your heart feel good but it teaches your child the value of giving back to the community, and brings new perspective to everyone!
Plan a treasure hunt – this one excites kids young and old! Simply find old trinkets or toys from around the house and plant or hide them in the back yard. Then craft a map and instructions and set the kids on their way. This is a great way to get your kids working together instead of bickering at one another!
Let them get dirty – give your kids a chance to break one of the cardinal rules and actually make a mess intentionally! One easy way to do this is to get them gardening. Kids of any age can help with planting bulbs, watering plants, and even pulling weeds.
Go for a family bike ride – enough said.
Turn on the water works – you don’t need a swimming pool for this one. This could be as simple as spraying a hose and letting your kids run through the water. Or you could turn on the sprinklers. Or have a water gun fight. Bottom line – let the kids get wet and have a blast!
Have a picnic – let your kids help make the sandwiches and pack up snacks. They can pick out the blanket or sheet to sit on. And if you have an mp3 player, bring the music outside too. They can all take turns picking the song or streaming radio station.
Decorate your sidewalk – sidewalk chalk is inexpensive and can provide loads of fun for your budding artists. The kids will get messy (hey, that’s half the fun!) but the chalk washes off easily with a hose. Want to make the event twice as fun? Finish with #8 above.
Try some of these ideas and watch your kids smile…..and your family time become more enjoyable. Fun and creativity make for a well-rounded kid and a summer filled with fun and learning for the entire family. And, yes, these activities are sure to fire some brain neurons as well.
Submitted by Deborah Frati, Area Director for Club Z! Tutoring, the nation’s largest in-home tutoring service now serving families in Fairfield County. For info about Club Z! Tutoring, contact Deborah at 203-529-4071, firstname.lastname@example.org.