You may be a bit overwhelmed not knowing how you are going to entertain you children for the entire summer. They are used to being in school for the majority of their days and now they are
free and clear to do as they please and it is up to you that they stay busy. Or is it?
Yes, children need activities to learn and have fun but it is also just important for them to
have some free play time too. So while you are planning all of the activities and outings
for them to participate in remember that they need some free play time too. Depending
on the age of your children and their level of independence the free play time may take
different forms. For younger children independent time will have to be supervised but
for older children it can be a nice break for both of you to let them play alone in their
room or outside in the yard.
Let your kids have a say in what goes on too. Have a couple of options ready; let them
help plan how you will spend the day. Letting your kids plan what goes on in the day is a
sure way to get their buy-in and participation. Just be sure that if there isn't any wiggle
room in what you have planned for the day you make it clear from the beginning. When
there are choices (limit them to two to three) ask and when there isnít a choice simply tell
them what is planned for the day.
A good balance between planned activities and free play or independent time will make
for a fun-filled summer for the kids and for you too.
Activities for All Ages
If you have children that are not very close in age or run a daycare with a wide range of
ages it can be tricky to plan activities that will engage everyone. But it is not impossible.
There are activities that can be planned that everyone can participate in at their own level
or ones where the older children can help the younger. Donít despair about the age gap
or feel that you need to plan something different for everyone. Follow the tips below as a
guide or starting point to including everyone in your summertime activities.
Indoor or outdoor crafts are perfect for kids of all ages. Provide the materials and general
instructions and see the different masterpieces that will be created. When making crafts
keep in mind that the instructions are more of a starting point. Let kids use their
imagination to make it all their own. You will be pleased with the results when fewer
parameters are put on a childís imagination when creating artwork or other hands-on
Old-fashioned games of hide-and-seek or tag are games that children of all ages will
enjoy. The added benefit of the physical activity will run of some of the abundant energy
children possess. By participating yourself you can fit in your own exercise for the day
Let older children help facilitate the summer activities that you plan. By engaging the
older children to help the younger they will feel a sense of responsibility and importance.
This is a summer activity in itself, teaching leadership to children will help in many
aspects of their lives.
When the situation warrants it, let the older and younger children do their own things.
But don't feel that you can't combine the activities too, it is easier for you and great for
the kids. Remember to follow along for more summer game ideas.