This week’s post is from Linda Howard, Acquisitions Director for Children and Youth at Tyndale. How do you fill summer days with your kids? We’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comments below!
As the school year comes to an end and summer vacation begins, many parents are wondering how to keep their children occupied through the long days at home. Below are a few ideas to keep the learning process going for kids in a fun way, and provide parents with a bit of sanity in the “dog days” of summer.
1. If your kids are too old for naps, institute a quiet time each day for reading. Visit the library or store with your child and make a list of the books they are interested in reading over the summer. Work with your child to create a chart for their reading goals and provide small incentives along the way as they meet the goals (For example: when they finish their first book, they get an ice cream cone from Dairy Queen.) While your kids are reading for 30 minutes to an hour each day, you can get other things done around the house, or maybe even just sit down for a few seconds.
2. Take nature walks and document what you see along the way. Have your kids decorate their own notebooks to take along as they walk. Allow time to stop and draw or write about the plants, animals, or other treasures they find. Bring a camera along to capture favorite sights as well. If no one can identify the object during the walk, spend some time on the computer when you get home researching and learning more.
3. On rainy days build a fort out of sheets and blankets and have a pretend campout in your living room or basement. Make popcorn, read stories by flashlight under the “tent”, and maybe even watch a show or two on TV.
4. Make your own bubble solution and play with it in your yard.
6 parts water
2 parts Joy dishwashing liquid
3/4 part corn syrup
5. Most importantly, spend time with your kids while you can! Eat together, play together, and even cry together. Enjoy these special times getting to know the precious gifts that God has given you.
It has been said many times, but it bears repeating: You blink your eyes and your children will be heading off to college or getting married. It happens so fast. I know – my daughter is married with three kids and another on the way. Wasn’t she just three years old?? I treasure the moments we had together when she was young: getting Slurpees at 7-Eleven, playing in the water, reading together, and just hanging out. Today, I get to do the same things with my grandkids – what a blessing! I am the first one my daughter calls when she has a question or needs something. That foundation was built, among other times, during our summers together. Make this summer a revolutionary time in your relationship with your kids and have fun!!
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3