Summer is the season for barbeques, beaches, and boredom. Some of the most dreaded words a parent can hear are, “I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.” Despite having a toy closet packed with games and puzzles and a garage filled with bicycles and balls, children always seem to find a way to be bored. Here’s an idea for you:
Make a plan. When your children are looking for something to do, ask them, “If you could plan something, anything at all, what would you plan?” Decide whether they are going to plan something that could actually happen or if they are planning something imaginary. Both can be fun. Both involve writing, thinking, and sometimes even math – great skills to keep in practice during the summer. Encourage them to plan each and every detail. They could even illustrate the plan. I know a mother who helped her children plan a picnic, complete with a guest list, invitations, menu, napkin designs, party favors, games, and a sign-up sheet! The plan eventually became a neighborhood party, which was an added bonus.
If your child chooses to plan something different, like a trip, then lead him to the maps. If he would like to plan a trip to outer space, fantastic! (Try to avoid asking when he’s planning to go.) No matter the idea, as long as it’s safe, encourage creativity, research, writing, and art. Schedule a time for a presentation of the plan and be sure to keep the plan; you never know when it might turn into a school project. Sometimes a child’s plan can even become a children’s book, if you are so inclined.