In my house, the word “boredom” is banned, as is the feeling of being bored. If you choose to follow my lead, let me warn you that several minutes after you ban the word “boredom,” they will likely come up with a synonym for it, just to heckle you. If that’s the case, here’s one thing that you can do:
Relish reading. As a teacher and a writer, I could hardly make suggestions for summer activities without including books! The trick is always to make reading a reward. It’s not a job, it’s a pleasure. The summer is a perfect time to let your child explore books and topics that interest her. In school, children are usually told what they must read. In the summer, let them choose. Go to the library or the bookstore (or the computer), and let your child find books that are intriguing to them. You don’t have to be interested in the topic; all you need to do is be sure that the books they choose are age-appropriate.
Set aside fifteen minutes a day as “reading time,” and sit with your children as they read. You can alternate reading sentences or pages with them, or if your children are older, you can do your own reading as they doing the same. No interruptions, no talking. When the fifteen minutes are done, ask your children to share what they learned. Encourage just one sentence of sharing at first. Interesting discussions can begin with one child telling his family about salamanders followed by another child describing Junie B. Jones’ latest adventures.