Many kids anxiously await summer break, reveling at the thought of 3 months of freedom from homework, bus rides, and rigid schedules. As a parent, you probably enjoy having your kids home for the summer, but anxiety may cloud your joy. The lengthy break sometimes leads to boredom, which can make some kids more likely to get into trouble. You may worry that your kids will experiment with bad things, whether that means stealing a piece of candy at the gas station or getting intoxicated at a party. Help them make positive choices by filling their summer with activities like the ones below.
Open a Bank Account
Does your child receive an allowance or have a part-time job? If not, he or she might still have some cash from grandparents or birthday gifts. A piggy bank is a popular place for a kid to store money, but it’s also wise to teach your child how to manage a bank account.
Start by having your child count all of the money in the piggy bank. If your child is too young to do this, have them watch you as you count out loud. Write down the total, and explain that you are taking a specific amount to your local bank. Leave some money in the piggy bank so your child still has cash for outings with friends or snacks at the grocery store.
Bring your ID, your child’s birth certificate, and both of your Social Security Cards when you visit the bank. You may need this information in order to open an account. Some banks require new accounts to have at least $25 or $50, so take some extra money with you if your child doesn’t have enough.
Indulge your child’s creative side with a photo shoot. Your child can be the photographer or the subject of the photos, and he can do this activity alone or with friends.
Encourage your child to photograph vibrant flowers, chirping birds, and lush foliage on sunny summer days. Some libraries offer free photography classes and clubs for kids, and you can also find affordable photography courses at community colleges or civic centers.
A surprising number of millennials don’t feel comfortable in the kitchen, and this trend may continue if parents don’t teach their kids culinary basics. Summer is an ideal time to help your kids practice their cooking and baking skills because fresh fruits and vegetables are often cheaper than they are during other seasons. You may also notice that regardless of what you eat or where you shop, many food prices are lower than they were a few years ago.
If you don’t want to teach your child how to cook, that’s okay. There are plenty of kid-friendly cooking classes available throughout the country, and you can even find programs online that cater to kids and teens.
Water Balloon Fight
Cool down on a hot summer day with a water balloon fight. Keep in mind that some kids have latex allergies, and a reaction can cause severe symptoms. Talk to the parents of your friends’ kids prior to hosing a water balloon fight at your house just to be on the safe side.
Encourage kids to throw balloons at each others’ backs, arms, and legs. If they throw balloons at their friends’ faces, they may cause a concussion or trigger other medical issues.
If you don’t want to deal with the mess a water balloon fight causes, pull out the hose instead. Set up the sprinkler if you have one, or spray down kids as they run through the steady stream of water. Have kids remove flip flops prior to participating in a water balloon fight or running under the hose, as the material can become very slippery.
The aforementioned ideas can help entertain your kids this summer, but they aren’t a foolproof solution for boredom-inspired thrill seeking. No matter how busy you keep your kids this summer, there’s a chance that issues may still arise. Talk to your kids in a calm, compassionate tone and let them know you’re always there for them. When peer pressure strikes, they might think about your conversation and make good choices.