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Planning Ahead for Summer

Aug 17, 2007
Summertime is not all that far away. Very soon the time will come that stay at home parents will be dealing with the delights of summertime boredom. Better get ready now.

There are lots of options available to you. Older children can go to summer camps or day camps. You can take children to the park, museums, the beach, the mall... or even keep them at home and have friends come over to play.

But no matter how many activities you plan, you need to be ready to cope with the cries of "I'm BORED!" It will happen.

How much you help and what you do of course depends on the age of your kids. One of my favorite ways to cope when my kids get bored is to boot them outside. During the summer this can mean turning on the lawn sprinklers for a while. But children can often find something to do outside with little help from the parents if you make that a habit.

For younger children, a sandbox is great fun. A playhouse is also lots of fun. Older children often enjoy tag games, which of course means you need enough kids around to make things interesting.

Many children enjoy crafts. Which craft will vary, but if you have supplies on hand it can be great fun to indulge their creativity. The basics include things such as construction paper, crayons, paints and glue, and you will need other supplies based on what your children like to do.

You cannot expect to maintain the same daily routine for yourself when the kids are out of school as when they are in school. You do have to adjust your own thinking when your children are out of school. There will be more interruptions to the things you like to do. If you work at home you may have to adjust your working hours.

Of course, this also opens things up for tons of family fun. Think about special outings. Think about hauling games out and playing with the kids. Join in the game of tag yourself. You won't regret having fun with your family.

You should also remember that if the kids are home more, they have more time to help out. They can help more around the house. Even my 2 year old helps empty the dishwasher, for example.

You should also encourage them to keep learning. Have them read every day for a while. Encourage their math and science skills as appropriate. Sign them up for a relatively fun class in an area that interests them.

Getting bored during summer break is pretty much a part of childhood. You can't prevent it entirely but you can plan ahead to keep your kids from driving you crazy.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster is a stay at home mom who offers a forum at http://www.homewiththekids.com/phpBB2/ for at home parents. She also gives kids craft ideas on her blog.
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