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Surviving Summer With the Children

Aug 17, 2007
Ah! School is almost over for another year. Over will be days filled with getting up and getting to school on time, homework, last minute school projects and school programs. For about two weeks after school ends everyone is loving life. But then reality sets in. Children become bored. The parent's normal schedule is gone. The rest of the summer is a constant challenge.

As a young mother, "Summer Vacation" was a real challenge. I had seven children, very little money, a small hot house and a husband that was out of town most of the time. It was enough to drive the most stable mother to the edge of insanity. So, we would pack up the old station wagon with a picnic lunch and find places to go. Over the years we visited every park, lake and canyon in three counties. We visited museums, went to community events and toured local factories. Once a month we would go somewhere that required money such as a zoo or amusement park. Our summer days were busy and fun.

I was lucky in many ways that I had the ability to stay home with my children. In today's world most parents have to work to survive. This only compounds the problem of keeping children constructively busy during summer vacation. It is a proven fact that when most children are left to their own devices for extended periods of time they tend to get into trouble.

What is a parent to do? The key to surviving the summer is planning. It is good to provide a variety of activities. Whether as a parent you have the time to spend with your children or you leave them with someone while you work, it is important to have a plan. Even if you work, it is important to plan time with your children doing constructive and fun activities. Spending time with our children will create lasting memories and traditions that will be handed down for generations. These are some activities that have worked well for others.

1. Museums. Everywhere there are museums. Most counties have may museums. Museums can be entertaining as well as educational.

2. Parks. Pack a picnic lunch and visit a different park every week until you have found all the parks in your area.

3. Reading Chart. It is important for children to keep reading over the summer or they can loose some of the progress they have made. Make a chart and have rewards for certain numbers of pages read. There can be small rewards for a few pages read and then when a larger number of pages are accomplished a trip or large item can be the reward.

4. Neighborhood Carnival. Have your children plan a carnival for the neighborhood. They can make up games and serve bags of popcorn or candy.

5. Theme Days. There are many days that celebrate everything from donuts to airplanes. Hera are a few examples: National Doughnut day in June 6th, Space Day is July 16th and Peter Rabbit Day is July 28th. Research what days fall in your schedule and plan activities for the day around the theme.

6. Nature Scavenger Hunt. Send the children into the yard or neighborhood or take them to a park. Have them find as many different kinds of leaves and rocks that they can. When they are done, have them research what kind of leaves and rocks they are and then have them make a picture or craft out of the items.

7. Bird watching. Obtain a book about birds. Make binoculars by gluing two toilet paper rolls together and having the children decorate them. Send them out with their binoculars to look for as many different kind of birds as they can. Making and hanging a bird feeder will attract birds to your yard.

8. Meals. Let each child help plan and prepare a meal each week.

9. Historical Sites. Every town has a history. Find the historical sites in your area, learn about them and visit them.

10. Tye dye. Learn how to tye dye clothes. Buy white T-shirts and let the children design their own shirts.

As you plan out your activities you will have a lot of fun, create memories and most importantly, retain your sanity as you go through the summer months.
About the Author
Christopher Anderson is part owner of Lone Peak Business Solutions, Inc. He wants to share his success as a business owner with others who desire to own their own business. He also believes that the economy is stronger with more business owners, and as a result, he is focused on helping business owners succeed.
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