One of the challenges of long summer vacations is keeping the kids busy. Yes, we’ve got the big Summer Getaways but families can’t be doing that EVERY week. Parents have only so much time and energy… their pockets aren’t as deep as they’d want it either, which is why some moms avoid the commercialism of mother’s day, right?
Nonetheless, the kids are restive because they DO have that much time and energy. School’s out, it’s warm and perfect for outdoor’s fun. So how can parents keep the kids occupied, especially when the grownups have their 9-to-5s during the weekdays?
We at Enfavr can think up of some solutions for you! By going back to our core values – that blend old, practical and community-based solutions with cutting edge modern tech – we’ve come up with these simple ideas that families pretty much anywhere can count on:
Simple pleasures from simple outings
Library visits, local amusement parks with water attractions, hiking and camping, fishing, even pitching a tent at the backyard! Go have a picnic somewhere nice and quiet. Board games are great ways to have fun too – not Monopoly, but classics like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride or Cranium. Outings don’t just have to be within just the family, why not bring the kids’ buddies along? A child’s playgroup is practically their extended family, with it they are learning how to interact with, and build, a community!
These are relatively simple distractions but are still great for keeping the kids busy and for giving families quality time with one another. That means they’re more than just distractions, they’re important moments in life that should be savored!
Put new spins on babysitting
Couples can delegate babysitting responsibilities to one parent or couples can find another trusted person to babysit. Several couples, who know each other well enough, can organize and pass the babysitter role around, each couple takes a turn while the rest go out and do their thang – just like our Enfavr-enabled date night groups!
Sounds complicated? Well, it doesn’t have to be. For the kids’ perspective, this just means that one family plays hosts to the gang. Even hosting sleepovers! Miss those? Well, summer’s the perfect opportunity for kids to have ‘em!
Catch up with the family!
Visit the grandparents, whether at their place or at the retirement home they’re at. They’ll love having the little rascals over and if they’re able, they’ll make excellent babysitters as well. Most grandparents will relish the chance to spoil the little ones and relive their days as parents. So these outings won’t be just for keeping the kids busy. Children young and old alike have much to learn from each other, the kids can gain a lot from their elders’ wisdom and having the springy energetic kiddos around will likewise add a spring in grandpa and grandma’s steps!
Catch up with the cousins! If some of the kids are bigger, they can act as babysitters and can teach the younger ones a thing or two. Kids need to play with peers as well as those outside of their age group so they can learn to interact with those older or younger than themselves. The adults can supervise, but if they step back a bit and let the kids sort things out among themselves, this can provide the young ones with a valuable learning experience. It’ll teach them to be self-sufficient and responsible!
No, not the kind where the summer months retaking classes they’ve flunked! That sucks!
The summer classes we’ve got in mind for keeping the kids busy are the cool kind! Learn football, swimming or painting and drawing, or anything else the kids have an interest in? Encourage them, give suggestions, but also allow them to choose. No pressure. Look for places that are holding classes or organize something if you know someone good enough to teach ‘em… or if you’ve got the skills, then lead the class yourself!
Make the summer productive, but not in the dry sense of productivity. “Productivity” in that time is used constructively in developing the kids’ passions. Most importantly, they have a fun time at it. The results don’t have to be quantified in a report card, the important thing is that they had a wonderful experience and made new friends. The kids can always continue if they love it and find out they’ve got a knack at it. Some kids are quick learners, others are late bloomers. But first, they’ve got to learn how to try, learn how to experiment, learn how to learn. That’s how results come to be, sooner or later. Redwoods don’t grow overnight.
Give them responsibilities that’re full of fun!
Is that even possible? Why, yes it is! Responsibilities aren’t just chores. If they’re up for it, they can do fun but important activities like pet sitting. We’ve already tackled pet sitting over the holidays, maybe it’s time for a little reciprocation. So why not let the kids handle the responsibility and have a fun-filled educational experience while they’re at it?
Just make sure both the kids and the pets are comfortable with each other, especially when it comes to bigger pets or pets that take time to socialize – like cats or some dogs. Pet-sitting turtles or goldfishes will be much simpler though, lol. Just make sure to check our pet-sitting article for the necessary preparations and, of course, Google’s your friend if you need more resources.
There are other productive things kids can do for fun. Just let them think of the tasks as something necessary to attain a goal. Another example would be letting them collect used plastic containers from the neighbors, which can be resold. The profits can then be placed in their allowances or savings. They can even decide on how to spend their earnings. Ice cream? Movie tickets? If they earn a lot, even a new video game? You’ll have little entrepreneurs out making moolah in no time!
Bond over quality entertainment and relive the classics!
Don’t let your little ones grow up without seeing or hearing the classics, becoming the kind of young people who ask “who’re the Backstreet Boys?” Augh! Show them the good stuff, like the ones you watched back in the day when movies came in VHS or Betamax and had to be rewinded after every playthrough!
Sit ‘em down and play E.T. or the original Star Wars movies. Christopher Reeve’s Superman movies, Adam West’s Batman. Episodes of the old Winnie the Pooh, Rugrats, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Lab or Hey Arnold! Jumani, Short Circuit, Back to the Future and Ghostbusters! The classic Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers… Dragon Ball with the hilarious dubbing. The Disney nerds among you will have a field day, and no shortage of films and direct to TV sequels and serieses, no siree!
This is REALLY important! Very serious business! It’s a solemn duty to pass on our heritage, people. These stories are priceless heirlooms to be handed over from one generation to the next.
Mix it up with the help of Enfavr!
None of these are mutually exclusive! You can totally, say, combine the Simple Outing with the New Spins on Babysitting! Call on your trust circle! Have trusted friends not only babysit the kids at home but take them out, if possible. Or return the favor, BE said trusted friend and help your friends watch over their kids.
Use Enfavr to make requests, keep track and then reciprocate! The babysitter might also be the one conducting the summer classes. These outings can also take advantage of carpooling and ridesharing. Enfavr can help with that too, whether you’re the one with the wheels or the one in need of rides.
Summer adventures build up the community
The important thing is that through these activities, one’s family – parents, grownups and kids alike – can become more interconnected with the surrounding environment and community. Whether it’s from exploring the great outdoors or just relying on trusted friends or letting the kids mingle with their peers… these are the links Enfavr’s meant to strengthen. By cultivating these, we can make the summer truly fun and enriching, one to remember as the seasons go by!