Summer has finally arrived and while that means more time soaking up the sun at the beach and having popsicles by the pool, it also means that the kids are no longer in school. Whether you’re working parents or stay-at-home, having the kids around all day every day can be rewarding since you have extra time to bond with them, but it can also be overwhelming as you try to find ways to occupy their time without simply plopping them down in front of the TV.
For more creative ways to keep your kids active this summer, try a new craft together like diamond painting or learn a different language. The options are endless. Find something your child enjoys and run with it.
Screen-Free Summer Activities to Do with Your Kids
Read a Book Series
Reading is a great activity to do with kids as it helps sharpen their communication skills and sparks creativity. Some kids are infatuated with books from a young age, while others may flip through the pictures before moving on to something new. But, if you make reading a special time of the day that you get to spend together and imagine an entirely different world, kids are more likely to be intrigued and even look forward to reading time.
Consider your child’s interests. Do they like trains? Mystery? Animals? Then, find a book series centered around a subject they love and spend a bit of time each day or night reading another chapter. If your child is young and not quite ready to learn how to read a more advanced book, you can read to them. In the summer, you can even bring your reading time outside so you can enjoy the weather and the great story you’re about to dive into.
Make an Outdoor Fort
Kids love to build and imagine new worlds, which is part of the reason they are so interested in forts and treehouses. These spaces give them a place where they can feel separate from the rest of the world and use their inventiveness to create games and stories. Work together on building an outdoor fort that your child can use all summer long and encourage him or her to utilize the space. Maybe you can host reading time in the fort each night or work on your crafting projects together. Give your child the chance to decorate their fort and infuse their own personality into their fun new area to play and hang out.
Complete a Diamond Painting
Crafts can be extremely beneficial to both children and adults. For kids, crafting can refine their motor skills, inspire creativity and teach patience. Adults can benefit as well because arts and crafts have been shown to significantly reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Working on a craft like diamond painting with your child will give you both a sense of accomplishment and the chance to bond together. Using small, faceted beads, diamond painting projects create a beautiful mosaic design from tiny, intricate rhinestones.
It may take you a few sessions to complete the project, which makes it a great activity that you can pull out any time of the summer until your masterpiece is finished. When you’re done, you can even host an art show where your child shows off his or her work and explains a little bit about the process.
Learn a New Language
Research has shown that it’s much easier for a younger child to learn a new language than an adult. This has to do with the way that their brain is still developing and hasn’t yet moved on to more complex thoughts or processes. Children are still learning how to understand their first language, so it comes fairly natural to them to learn another. With so much extra time in the summer, make it a goal for both you and your child to start learning a new language. This may involve a little bit of screen time if you want to take advantage of language learning programs like Duolingo, but you can also simply use textbooks and flashcards to learn. Practice a few words together every day and pretty soon you might even have your own language to communicate in.
Kids love to explore the outdoors because everything seems fresh and new to them still. Encourage their more scientific tendencies by going on an exploration of the backyard and documenting what you find. You can help them write down the types of bugs, birds and other animals that they spot, investigate different types of flowers, trees or garden plants and help them plan their next big adventure.
Write in a Journal
Journaling is greatly beneficial to people of all ages because it helps us to work through our feelings and experiences, and it’s also the perfect way to leave a record of your life. Help your child understand the purpose of a journal and sit down together to write about whatever he or she would like to talk about.
You can start off by asking them to write down what they did that day, but they can also work from prompts about what they want to do when they get older or how they feel about something they recently experienced. Not only will this help your child process their experiences, but it will also encourage them to work on their writing abilities.
Redecorate Their Bedroom
As your child grows up, he or she will probably want to switch up the decor in their bedroom several times. If you’re sensing that their room needs a makeover, get them involved in the process. Find out colors, designs and accessories that they might want. You can even hang your completed diamond painting up in their room as a decoration.
Make This the Best Summer Ever
This summer, keep your kid active by limiting screen time and planning plenty of other fun activities to do together. Invest in some arts and crafts projects like diamond painting or build a fort to provide your child with their own secret hangout. Most of these activities can be done together to help you spend quality time together and learn from each other.
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