Hot fun in the sun: Five tips for keeping kids busy this summer
Summer is officially in session, but instead of joining your kids in choruses of "School's out for summer," panic sets in when you wonder how you can possibly entertain these balls of energy for two months. Not only do you have to occupy their time, but you must also scramble for much-needed child care. While the adjustment to a new routine can be stressful, do not let it overwhelm you. These five tips are a recipe for a relaxing summer of fun in the sun.
Hire a sitter. The first step to a stress-free summer is calling in some care reinforcements. Whether you work or are a stay-at-home parent, everyone needs extra help managing the family's manic schedule of soccer games and dance rehearsals. Figure out what works best for you. Hire a full-time summer nanny or simply schedule a babysitter a couple mornings a week. Not sure how to kick off your care search? Ask a friend for a recommendation or post flyers at the YMCA. You could even contact local colleges and advertise on the student job board. It may take a while to find the perfect nanny, but do not be discouraged. Finding babysitters in New York
is much easier than if you live in a small town like Shapleigh, Maine so keep in mind your location. Once you find the care you need, your life will become immeasurably easier. You might even be able to relax for a change.
Look into summer camp. Camp will not only occupy your children during the summer months, but it will also provide happy memories and lifelong friendships. Search for camps that cater to your child's interests - whether that is theater, sports, science or art. Participation in a specialized camp could be an excellent way for your child to explore his talents and learn more about himself. Discuss with your older children the option of sleep-away camp. While not for everyone, this experience fosters important social development and builds character.
Find a tutor. All kids should have a break from school in the summer months, but they should also stay on top of their skills. Find a local tutor to meet with your child once a week for a bit of mental exercise. Whether you are searching for tutors in Atlanta
or Seattle, finding a tutor will likely be easier than you expect because most teachers and college students search for such employment in the summer months.
Do something cheap. Expensive vacations and pricey activities do not need to be the solution to your child's summer entertainment. Give your kids a cultural experience and find a museum near you
, many of which have free admission or designated free days. Go to the local art museum with some paper and crayons and challenge the kids to replicate their favorite painting. Stop by a local farm to pick strawberries and pet the animals. Have a picnic in the local park - don't forget to bring a Frisbee, a ball or another outdoor activity. Also, never forget the public library. Besides the hours your children could spend getting lost in their favorite books, most libraries offer story hour, arts and crafts and other educational activities.
Take a day trip. A low-key day trip can provide the rest and relaxation you need to survive the summer craze. Look into nearby destinations that are family-friendly, but not too touristy. A sleepy seaside town or a scenic mountain trail could be the perfect place to spend some quality time together. Remember to take it slow. Trying to pack in a million tourist attractions is never fun for anyone. Be active - go hiking, explore the area, take in some sights - but be sure to carve out some time to simply do nothing. Most importantly, enjoy your escape and cherish the moments of peace you and your family have together.