We know summer can be chaotic, but between the final 3:30 bell of May and the first early morning alarm of August, kids can lose a lot of the skills they’ve gained over the past school year. So, before you brace yourself against the coming deluge of family reunions, June weddings, summer reading programs, and day-to-day unpredictability that is summer break, make a plan to fight the summer slump.
Plan out a few days beforehand to do something specific, fun, and relatively stress-free with your kids. Put it on the calendar along with everything else and guard it with your life. Here are a few ideas to get you going:
Go to a museum.
Museums, like kids, come in all different shapes and sizes. Your kids aren’t into history? Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln and Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha are both free to the public. Skeptical about setting your kids loose in an echo-y, please-don’t-touch-that kind of place? Stuhr Museum in Grand Island has several exhibits outside, including Railroad Town, the Pawnee Earth Lodge, plus special summer activities just for kids. Nebraska has dozens of museums ranging from local history museums to the Strategic Air and Space Museum. With a quick Google search, you can find just the right museum for your kids.
Go on a scavenger hunt.
Whether it’s around your community or through your front yard, get to know your world a little better by sending your kids off to explore it. Maybe you’re looking for a building that’s over 100 years old or a bird that has red on its wings or a set of deer tracks down by the creek. Don’t know what to look for? Geocaching, the world-wide scavenger hunt, has you covered.
Join the community.
Giving back to the community is a great way for kids to be good stewards of their time during summer vacation. Whether it’s simply paying it forward or mowing a lawn for someone who might not be able to, there are a variety of ways that kids can be involved in improving their communities, even in the midst of a busy schedule. For more ideas on what kids can do in their community, check out lauragraceweldon.com or kidactivities.net.
Make something together.
Whether it’s birdhouses for your local fauna or a guitar made out of a Kleenex box and rubber bands (don’t expect many musical prodigies on this one), sitting down with your kids and creating something unique to them can be very beneficial. Not only can it improve your kids’ tactile skills, but it also promotes patience, teamwork, and the satisfaction of seeing a task to completion.
Need some more inspiration? Here’s a list of 101 things you and your kids can do in the summer. Remember, whatever you do, make sure it’s something you can have fun doing too!
Let us know what if you try these suggestions and how they work for you and your family! Leave a comment and share this article on social media if you found it helpful.