School’s out, the little tykes have been on vacation for a week, and they’re already bored. How are you going to make it to August? Here are some ideas on how parents and children can get through the summer and have a good time doing it just by planning fun things to do every day. It’s easier than you think.

Routine

During the school year, kids are on a fairly tight schedule. Five days a week, they have to get up, eat breakfast, get dressed, go to school, come home, eat dinner, do their homework, and be in bed at a set time. Suddenly, summer comes and there’s no schedule, and a lack of consistency can create emotional anxiety in kids. Like many adults, children like to know what to expect, and being on a routine reduces life’s unknowns. Create a weekday schedule and stick to it.

Activities

There are lots of fun—and even educational—activities parents and children can do together. If you pick one activity for each day of the week, and do it every week, it’ll be August before you know it!

  • Plant a Garden – Kids love watching seeds grow into plants. Planting a garden and having the seed sprout will take all summer, and it’s a learning experience everyone can take pride in.
  • Picnic – Once a week, pack a lunch and go somewhere you’ve never been. If you can bicycle to your destination, that’s even better. If you drive to a picnic location, then take an after-lunch hike, so that kids have some physical activity. Teach your children the wonders of the natural world. There are 32 state parks in Arizona, and they make great picnic spots.
  • Have a Treasure Hunt – Bury something in the yard and give kids a series of clues. Or, if you’re a little more ambitious, create a scavenger hunt. Make it complicated enough to keep kids busy, but not so difficult they get frustrated.
  • Make a Movie – Your smartphone is all you need to create a feature film. Spend June writing the script, storyboarding the scenes, and finding locations. Throughout July, plan on filming once a week, with a big wrap party and screening right before school starts. It’s how Spielberg started.
  • Visit the Library – Every library has a summer reading program. Go to the library once a week, and choose books with your kids. Read with them every day. Maybe turn a book into a play, with everyone taking a part. Above all, keep kids reading and keep it fun. A love of reading is the most important gift you can give a child.

If you want more ideas, here are an additional 75+ Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy This Summer.

Summer’s that rare time when parents and children can spend time together, bond, and get to know each other. There are only so many summers until children become young adults, and will be making their own plans, so take advantage of long summer days and have a good time!

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