Summer is always challenging with children; keeping them occupied in good and bad weather presents unique opportunities for parents to reconnect with children and help them develop good habits. 10-year old’s present a unique challenge – they are often too young to get involved in community-wide projects, but too young for many organized activities for younger children. This means parents need to have a bag of tricks handy for all types of weather.
Outdoor activities for kids
Keeping your children moving through the summer and making sure they get sufficient exercise is important, particularly in today’s connected world. You can drag them away from their computers, games, and smartphones by undertaking these fun activities:
- Build a fort — with little more than a couple of sheets, some rope and a convenient tree, you can build a fort. Make a plan to get everyone in the family involved in this fun game; let the child spend the night with a friend and listen to the sounds of nature.
- Observing nature — you can have some fun with your child, and help them learn about nature. Flowers, trees, animals, and bugs of all kinds can be identified in a local playground, park, or on a trail. You may even have wildlife in your back yard where you can get started.
- Apple picking — later in the summer, everyone can have some fun picking apples, or other fruits if you have pick-your-own farms in your area. Not only will they get the benefit of exercise and fresh air, you can use the apples later to work on an indoor project.
- Yard work — encourage your child to get involved in yard work; weeding, planting, and other safe activities are a great way to teach children about how things grow. Think about how excited your child will be when they see their own handiwork sprouting new buds. Consider planting their favorite vegetable and let them take over the responsibility of caring for them until ready for picking.
Indoor activities for kids
No matter what happens you are going to face rain days with your children home for the summer. Instead of thinking about this as a calamity, make plans ahead of time to have indoor activities for you and your child to participate in together.
- Legos and other building sets — let your children explore their more creative sides by getting down on the floor and working on a Lego project. There are hundreds of various types of building sets that children and parents can enjoy together. If you do not have these kinds of building blocks use whatever is handy including popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, etc.
- Learning chores — a rainy day may be the perfect reason to teach your child some basic homemaking skills. Teach them how the washer and dryer work, how the dishwasher works, and even how to cook simple foods. These skills will last them a lifetime.
- Keep learning at the forefront — use games like Qwirkle, flashcards and spend time having your 10-year old read to you over the summer. These activities will help them learn more and will benefit them greatly when the school year begins again in the fall.
Summertime is a great opportunity to reconnect with your children after the school year. Keeping them busy over the summer provides you an opportunity to spend quality time with them while making sure they continue to learn.