Monday, June 17, 2013

Tips to Give Your Kids a Summer They'll Never Forget

It's almost here - those three months that kids spend all school year looking forward to. Meanwhile, parents wonder how they'll manage to keep the kids entertained and busy for nearly a hundred days. Start this summer with a plan to ensure that you give them a balanced mixture of adventure, nostalgia, learning and growth, so they can head back to school refreshed and ready to take on the challenges that await. Here are five activities to get you started:

Take Up Digital Scrapbooking

There's bound to be a day or two that's too rainy or hot to venture outside. That's the perfect time to dig out those boxes of photos and old albums and get them in sync with the 21st century. Teach your children how to use the computer while instilling in them an interest in family history and a desire to preserve the memories of years gone by. Find a service to convert slides to digital (Who has the patience to do all that?). The fun part is turning these memories into beautiful digital scrapbook pages.
Bonus: you can send to family and friends all over the world with the click of a button. An article from MakeandTakes.com reminds new scrapbookers to start off with a free trial and make several pages to give the craft a fair try. Soon you'll be preserving precious memories in minutes, while creating new ones at the same time.

Have A Drive-In Movie at Home

Remember the fun you had bundling into the car and going to the drive-in late at night when you were a kid? While these theaters are few and far between, you can create a similar experience for your kiddos by telling them that they get to stay up late and watch a movie. Prepare for this by stocking up on their favorite snacks and having a movie ready. For even more fun, Tip Junkie suggests that you let the kids watch the movie in cars they make from cardboard boxes. 

Practice Hands-on Entrepreneurship

What's better than a never-ending glass of lemonade on a hot summer day? Earning cold, hard cash by selling that lemonade to thirsty neighbors. Frugal Dad recommends that you take the kids to the grocery store and let them buy (with their own money) lemons, sugar, cups and ice to get their stand up and running. Parents should stay hands-off as much as possible, but provide sufficient help with cutting lemons and supervising the stand.

Create an At-Home Water Park

Packing up the family and driving to a water-park can be time-consuming and costly. Combat these issues by making a water slide out of an old shower curtain or piece of plastic by following directions at Family Education's website. Turn on the sprinkler and fill balloons with water for even more wet and wild fun.

Join the Library's Summer Reading Program

Most libraries offer a reading incentive program for kids and families during the summer. Take advantage of this and sign the kids up for at least one. For those voracious readers, head to other local libraries, get a card and join their program as well.

Daily Themes

One more tip as you begin planning out your summer schedule: give every day of the week a theme. For example, Monday might be devoted to staying home and resting after a busy weekend, Tuesday can be volunteering, Wednesday is an outing to a free or inexpensive activity, Thursday is for play dates with friends and Friday is for science experiments and educational projects. This will ensure a nice bit of structure and keep the "I'm bored" syndrome at bay.

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