The Traveling Teacher

We’re about halfway through the summer and perhaps you’re already tired of chasing your kids off electronic devices. If the kids are bored and looking for something fun to do, why not try a few of these fun activities?

• Enjoy the great outdoors. Get kids outside. Bike riding, nature hikes, swimming, time in the sandbox or the park…these are the normal things that kids are supposed to do in the summer. When kids get outside to exercise and explore nature, they not only benefit physically, but their minds are fast at work. We have many excellent parks and nature preserves in our area. Take advantage of these local treasures!

Create works of art. Provide opportunities for your kids to be creative. Let them sculpt, build, and paint. Older kids can tackle projects that involve skills like sewing or basic carpentry. If you need an idea, the internet provides a bounty of websites that will inspire and direct. Take advantage of the warm weather and keep the mess outside for easy clean up.

Camp is for kids. Sending kids to camp is another ideal way to beat the summer slump. Some camps have themes, like sports camps or music camps, while others are just general outdoor fun. Talk to other parents to find out what camp opportunities are still available.

Read, read, read! Pick up a good book, and keep kids reading all summer. Go to the library or the bookstore. In addition to books, look for interesting magazines, graphic novels, comic books, or newspapers. Join in with your kids and see how much you can read this summer, too. If you have teenagers, read some of the same books so you can discuss them like your own family book club. If kids are reluctant readers, chose books that have been made into movies. Read the books first and then have a movie night with popcorn. Discuss which one was better…the movie or the book.

Learn to cook. Most kids want to help out in the kitchen. Peruse cookbooks and let the kids be your assistants. Teenagers can cook an entire meal. Make some cookies to share with neighbors. Fire up the grill and invite friends over. Lots of fun can be had when food is involved.

Plant a garden. It’s still not too late to plant some new items in the garden. Let the kids have their own little plot of land. They’ll have a blast keeping track of their plants. Or, if you already have a garden, let them be responsible for a chunk of it that’s totally theirs.

Be a photographer. Let kids take pictures and then put them in a small photo album. Older kids may even want to try a SLR camera and learn to use photo editing software.

Throw a party. Nothing cheers up the summer like friends. Pick a theme and let your child plan a party, including food and decorations.

Go on an adventure. Get out of town! Plan an outing to a new place and spend the day. Nothing puts a shot in the arm of summer like traveling to a new place. It doesn’t have to be far or expensive. Just make it different from the normal routine.

Summer’s not over yet. Look for fun, creative ways to keep it interesting for kids before it’s back to school time again. Check out my blog for even more ideas at

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