What am I going to do with my kids all summer long??!!??
It is a question that echoes in the minds of many parents at this time of year. We want our kids to have a good time and enjoy their summer but working out the balance that allow them to have fun and not waste the time away can be a challenge. We want to help so we thought we would offer some advice to worried parents that can help your kid’s summer vacation to be fun and productive.
Engage their mind
One fear on the mind of many a parent is that their child will forget everything they learned during the school year. Don’t let them! There are several things you can to do engage their minds during the lazy days of summer. Here are a few suggestions:
- If your kid’s teachers send home summer packets, make sure they do them! A page or two a day is enough to keep their minds active!
- Invest in an enrichment book for their grade level (you can find them in bookstores and local craft stores in the kids section). Just 15 minutes each day reviewing multiplication tables and reinforcing spelling is enough to keep their mind exercised!
- Visit the library! Local libraries run awesome programming during the summer months. Take advantage of their resources to inspire your kids to read all summer long!
- Create a schedule for them with daily tasks. Be sure the list includes things like chores, physical activity and reading time. Tie it in with a reward system for some extra motivation!
Limit Screen Time
Another fear is that they will spend all their time off parked in front of the TV. Again, don’t let them! Many pediatricians will suggest limiting screen time to 2 hours a day. We know how challenging this can be when there are so many different screens vying for their attention so it is all about balance.
- Are they spending 2 hour watching a DVD then an hour playing Xbox followed by playing a few games on their tablet and not getting any active time? Then, setting some limits might be in order.
- Use screen time to your advantage.
- With gaming systems like Wii & Kinect your kids can play video games & be active at the same time.
- Encourage them to watch educational programming. Tuning into channels like Animal Planet, Discovery Kids and National Geographic will engage their mind!
Use commercial time to your advantage
So they want to watch TV. Allow it, but create an activity card that gives them fun and active tasks to complete while they are watching TV. Commercials last for around 2 minutes; they can get up to 15 minutes of physical activity while watching an hour long program! Activities can include:
- Jumping jacks
- Running in place
- Shadow boxing
- Dance party break
- Sit ups or push ups
Set a good example
That means you need to make good use of your time too! If you want them to read more, let them catch you reading. If you want them to be more active, turn off the TV and head outside or to the gym. Do the things you want to see them doing and encourage them to join in the fun! OCSC has 2 awesome ways to help you do just that. See the details below:
- OCSC offers childcare in our play safe gym area so you can stick to your workout schedule and bring the little kids along!
- Workout at OCSC while your kids are taking their classes. We have a membership special just for parents. Check out the details here.
Start a new tradition
Why not start a new tradition and take a weekly after dinner walk with the family? A leisurely stroll through the neighborhood is good for everyone in the family, including Fido! Or make it a goal to go on frequent hikes during the summer months. Pack a lunch and get out there and explore nature! Many of the parks in Orange County have hiking trails, so take advantage of them! Here is a link to many of the hiking options in Orange County:
If the weather is nice, send them outside to play. Be prepared for “We’re bored” by creating an activity card filled with suggestions like:
- Play with the dogs
- Jump rope
- Try some old school games like: red light-green light, hop scotch or kick the can
- Create a rock collection
- Collect as many different leaves and flowers as you can (be sure to help them avoid poison ivy, oak & sumac)
- On vacation? You still need to be active. Why not take a walk down the beach and fill a mason jar with shells?
Inspire a new passion
Ask your kids what they want to learn and then help them go for it! At OCSC, we offer many classes for kids including martial arts, gymnastics, dance, fencing, soccer and our new expanded trampoline program. Sign your kids up so they can spend the summer learning! Click here for more details.
For working parents, summer camps are a life saver. There is a wide variety of camp options out there from sleep away camps to day camps. Our friends at Hudson Valley Parent magazine are a great resource for the area’s summer programming. Check them out here.
Did that help? We hope so!
OCSC wants you and your entire family to stay active all summer long. If we can answer any questions about our programming options, please don’t hesitate to give us a call 845-651-1000.
#schoolsout #summervacation #kidscamps #StayActive