There's Nothing to Do!
Summer vacations and rainy days don’t have to be long stretches of aimless “hanging out.” With a little creativity and encouragement from you, your children can use their time discovering hidden talents, making new friends, and exploring the world around them.
Tips for . . .
- parents with children ages birth to 5
- Give your baby a change of scene now and then by moving his or her playpen to a different room, or take a walk outside.
- Visit interesting buildings together. Tour a barn, skyscraper, fire station, or bakery.
- parents with children ages 6 to 9
- Sign your child up for one or two outside-the-home activities — led by caring, nurturing adults — such as swimming lessons, scouting, art projects, a sports team, music lessons, or something else that interests them.
- Keep a variety of art materials on hand in a “Bored Box.” Fill it with art supplies like paper, crayons, glue, leaves, egg cartons, etc.
- parents with children ages 10 to 15
- Brainstorm with your kids a list of the things they enjoy doing at home and in the community. Guide them toward some things that are free, some that are educational, and some that help others. Then when they say they’re bored, encourage them to pick something to do from the list.
- Don’t assume it’s your responsibility to keep them from being bored. Challenge your kids to figure out interesting things to do on their own. Sometimes a little boredom can be great motivation.
- parents with children ages 16 to 18
- Encourage teenagers to think about how their skills and interests might apply to a summer job. Could your young artist paint a mural for a local business? If you work outside of the home, are there any tasks at your workplace that a teen could do?
- Invite them to help you think of activities for younger siblings, or suggest they join a local organization for the summer as a counselor or mentor for children.