Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer Activities

Well, we have waited for it all year long and it is finally here!
I have such happy memories of summer.  Long days of sun and fun, camp, swimming, playing softball in the street, ice cream,beach adventures, theme parks, running in and out of the house all day long, and just enjoying the feeling of freedom.

Do you remember that feeling?  How do we allow our children to have that freedom?  It's a different world.  Children always do well when they are in a consistent routine, how do we promote a feeling of freedom and independence while providing the framework of a routine?

In the summer it is a good idea to change the routine.  Many of us still have to go to work so we need to get the children to camp or another supervised activity.  You can still relax the "school" routine a bit.

One thing that makes summer memorable is the sun, it stays up later than any other time in the year.  Find an outdoor activity to do after dinner.  Swimming, walks through the neighborhood, kickball in the street (if you live in a neighborhood where this is possible), bike riding are all active and fun.  This is the perfect family memory to create.

The summer is also the perfect time to take a trip to the local library.  Allowing your child to choose books to read and have read to him is a powerful step to independence.  Borrowing books from the library teaches us to be responsible.  Gettting the books returned on time, taking care of them, and keeping track of them are all valuable lessons.  The library has something for everyone.  It is a great "rainy day" activity.  It promotes reading and listening skills.  I love the idea of introducing the public library to your children.

Give your child a budget.  If your child earns an allowance for chores or responsibilities (pet care, room cleaning, laundry, kitchen chores etc.) summer is a great time to teach how to plan a budget and how to save for "big ticket" items.  Giving your child a notebook to record income and add it up will help your child with math skills and with seeing their finances grow.  Teach them how to subtract their expenses.  I like the idea of having 3 jars so children can actually see the money.  One jar is marked SAVING, one is marked SPENDING and one is marked DONATIONS.  The money is then divided into the jars, but some must go into each jar.  Children can choose a charity in which they have an interest, such as animal rescue, homeless children or feeding the hungry, and make a donation when they have accumulated money in the donation jar.

Children will always enjoy summer, it is a time for growing, exploring, and yes, learning.  Most of all it is a time for fun.  So make great memories this summer.

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