Summer is here, and that means one important thing to a lot of people – the kids are home. If you have children, summer can be a challenge. You want them to stay active, but it’s hard to think of ways to keep them busy. That’s why we put together some ideas for summer activities.
Home-Based Summer Activities
If you’re around to entertain your kids, your options are pretty wide. You can build box forts or make chalk drawings in the driveway. We could run through a list of summer activities, but Buzzfeed beat us to it with a great list of ideas. And if you need more details (along with fun pictures) you can check out the list at care.com.
Of course, these options really only work if a parent is home during the day. In nearly half of U.S. families, both parents have day jobs. And that means getting someone else to look after your kids. Happily, there are solutions for that, too.
Local Day Camp
If you live anywhere near a large city, you should be able to find day-camp summer activities for your kids. Check with local community colleges or universities, as many of them run college-for-kids programs. For kids with academic interests, kid-college day camps can be a lot of fun. From LEGO camps to space camps, there can be a lot of variety.
Many cities also run day camps for kids. These run the gamut from well-organized and education to poorly supervised and downright dangerous, so do your homework. It’s important that your kids have fun, but it’s more important they come home safely.
Another good resource for day camps is the Boys and Girls Club. To find a club near you, just visit the BGCA site. Once you find out where your local clubhouse is located, you can look for summer day camps and programs. Programs cover sports and the arts, education and wellness, and more.
To really take advantage of those long months and give your kids an experience they’ll never forget, there’s nothing like summer camp. The trick is finding one that’s not too far away, and finding the one that will fit your kids.
I can speak from experience on this one – it is critical to find the camp that fits your kids. My parents sent me to summer camp… once. I hated it. A smelly cabin in the woods was my idea of doing hard time. A nerd camp with computer programming and construction toys would have been amazing. Art camp would have been even better. Sadly, that wasn’t an option when I was a young boy (that, or my parents didn’t really look).
Fortunately, more options exist today, so you don’t have to send your basketball-loving daughter to paddle canoes and catch snakes. The Spruce (an excellent home blog) compiled an outstanding article that will help you choose. Whether your children are fans of sailing or theater, there’s something for them.
After you decide what kind of camp your children will enjoy, do a little research to make sure they will have a fun and safe summer. Summer activities are a lot more enjoyable when they don’t result in bodily harm. Parenting Magazine has a whole article describing what to look for. With a little legwork, you can rest assured that your child will enjoy the summer and maybe even learn something.
Summer doesn’t have to be a parenting chore. If you can find the right summer activities to keep your kids engaged, it might just be your favorite time of year.