Every year we have the best intentions for summer with the kids—lazy days, sandy toes, maybe the perfect family trip—but more often than not, we find ourselves slaves to a more ordinary outcome of screen time, bickering, and boredom (ug, I hate when kids say that!). Rather than dredging through the summer and desperately anticipating the next school year, here are 5 things your kids should do this summer to make it more enjoyable for everyone.
1. Work. What? Pump the brakes! Work in the summer? Yes! If your kids are old enough, this is the perfect opportunity to get them some much-needed, real-world experience, some spending cash they can take pride in, and a healthy, positive summer activity.
If your kids are too young to, ahem, legally work (I’m pretty sure I was a child labor babysitter), then the summer is an excellent time to pump up the chores… I mean household activities. Even a two-year-old can learn to put toys away or help mommy or daddy in the garden. Let’s face it, today’s kids aren’t necessarily bored—they’re unmotivated—and the last time I checked, no one has died from making the bed. What’s more, kids actually thrive on being productive! They love having the responsibility and knowing you trust them with that responsibility.
2. Move. Invest in activity. Find a local program that specializes in classes for kids. Check out summer camps or get a group of friends together regularly and meet at the pool Get your kids moving. Not only will this promote a healthy lifestyle, it will get out some of that crazy energy they seem to produce out of nothing. The beach is free and also great for this!
3. Create. Some kids are inherently creative, while others need a little nudging. Get their creative juices flowing with a variety of activities from cooking to painting, playing in the sand to inventing their own board games. There are infinite options, most of which are absolutely free. Encourage your kids to use their minds and imaginations, and don’t be afraid to get creative with them.
4. Breathe. Get outside and breathe in the fresh air. We are uniquely blessed living on an island with one of the world’s most incredible natural backdrops. Use it. Go hiking, surfing, gecko hunting, or just lie outside in the grass telling stories of the clouds.
5. Do nothing. Absolutely nothing, just hang with each other, for this is the stuff a childhood is really made of. Cherish it. Enjoy your kids.