Summer is almost here and regardless of whether you’re a stay-at-home or working parent, your kids are going to need entertainment during the next few months of no school. What better what to keep them occupied than activities that have an educational component?
What’s more fun than dancing and waving signs on a street corner while making money at the same time? Not much, which is why having a lemonade stand can be a great way to entertain your kids while encouraging entrepreneurial spirit. Not only will they learn how to make homemade lemonade (it’s just water, lemons, and sugar), but they’ll also have to complete financial transactions with their customers – a skill that will benefit them later on when they get their first job. Plus, it’ll give them some extra spending money for when they want to hang out with friends this summer.
Some local libraries host their own challenges with prizes offered for the most books read or the most minutes logged, but if your library doesn’t offer something like this, then make it a family contest. Even if you have an only child, you can create a prize structure that allows them to win progressively better prizes the more books they read. For example, you could take them out for ice cream after five books read and buy them a $15 gift card for twelve books read. To make sure they’re actually reading, you might require a reading journal that keeps track of pages read, how long it took them to read, and what they read about that day. Some parents may argue that this is teaching kids to read only for the sake of winning prizes, but unless your child is a voracious reader that chooses to read on their own time, creating a reading challenge can be a great tool to encourage reluctant readers to open a book and learn something about the world.
Arts & Crafts
This is an oldie but goodie. In a time where kids as young as 5 or 6 are getting their first iPads (or even smartphones, in some extreme cases), there’s much to be said about the value of old-fashioned arts and crafts. Budget cuts in schools are only worsening the problem by cutting art classes before anything else; what better way to channel your kids’ creativity than encouraging them to complete artsy projects throughout the summer? Everything from painting and ceramics to sewing and tie-dyeing shirts can keep them busy for hours and most of the supplies you need can be found at your nearest craft store or online. If your kids are really artistic and constantly want to work on new projects, then check your local craft store for discounts or look for coupons from sites like SumoCoupon to minimize spending while maximizing fun with arts & crafts.
Instilling a spirit of volunteerism from an early age not only builds character and teaches your child about those less fortunate than them, but it also helps your community. Some places may have age requirements – such as animal shelters or places that require more intensive labor – but there are probably plenty of opportunities to volunteer in your area, so pick out a few options and let your kids decide where they’d like to help out once a week or so.