Kids look forward to summer as a time to decompress, thought that’s not likely the word they’d use. It’s a time to loll in sunshine, let the mind wander, have a few adventures and maybe learn some things that aren’t taught in school.
But it’s also a time when kids run the risk of becoming extremely lazy. This is particularly true for kids of parents that both work. Finding ways to keep kids engaged during summer when they’ve got time on their hands and parents are still towing the line can be a real dilemma. Sure, hiring formal summer child care or enrolling them in private child care are viable possibilities. But there are some basic summer activities for healthy minds that even the busiest parents can employ that will keep from lapsing into a period of laziness that, come September, might be hard to snap out of.
It might seem a bit “old hat,” but the library is a fantastic summer resource for your family. Summer reading groups, movies and field trips are all fairly standard. If your child isn’t in camp, this is a good way to keep him or her in touch with other kids that are around for the summer in addition to promoting a reasonably healthy environment of learning. Summer reading provides a respite from the assignment nature of school year reading while instilling small, summery goals into a child’s schedule.
There’s plenty of junk for your kids to find online, just as there is on television. Depending on their age, some of this may be unavoidable, but by helping them navigate to sites that are focused on learning, they can be online (what they want) and be engaged in something educationally positive, (what you want). Sites like greatschools.org, educationworld.com and scholastic.com have loads of tools you can use to keep your children immersed in summer activities for healthy minds.
Take some time to see what’s offered for constructive, engaging summer activities in your community. Opportunities may exist for fitness programs, not to mention music and drama outings that might help usher in some new interests. Nature centers and museums are also potential resources.
Summer is a ways off, but it’s never too early to start making mental note of ways to keep your child engaged in summer activities for healthy minds, using their brains in the warmer months. You’ll rest easier knowing they’re not wasting away, and they’ll have a much easier time transitioning back into the routine of school in the fall. Many a private school curriculum includes summer reading, but that’s not going to be the alternative you’re looking for. Search online for “day care activities” for further reading.