End Stuck At Home Summer Boredom

Mark Douet

Summer break from school - every school year, I dream ahead to the school break in the summer.  I plan fantastic trips to campgrounds and beaches, educational and interesting trips to historical sites, and the time we can spend just relaxing and hanging out together.

I don't think we have ever had a summer that actually looked like this.  Sure, we spend some of our time going on trips and relaxing together.

  But we also face time stuck at home with not much else to do. it is easy to try to rely on TV, video games and other electronic media to entertain us during the less than perfect summer days.  I know this isn't the best way that we can use this summer break time, weather or other circumstances aside. I also know that too much screen time has been linked to childhood obesity, attention problems, school problems, and sleep issues (according to the American Association of Pediatrics, AAP.)  The current recommendations from the AAP limit screen time to two hours a day, and encourage parents to either watch or heavily monitor what their children and teens are watching.

So when you are stuck at home in the summer, what can you do?

Haul Out The Books  Summer reading is a big deal.  Local libraries have summer reading programs, bookstores promote books that are great summer reads.  You and your children have the time to sit and read as long as you like, without fear of homework deadlines.

  In addition to your local library summer reading program, your children can also participate in the program offered by Barnes and Noble booksellers.  Reading is a great way to avoid summer brain drain.  

Tackle The Housework - Together  Okay, you have to hear me out on this one.  If you are stuck at home with your kids, make spending time with them a priority.

  Catch up on housework while talking with them.  Show them how to do new chores while you do them together.  Share stories of when you learned how to do different chores.  The idea here is that you are doing something, anything and talking together.  At the same time, you will both be able to look back when you are done and see the completed work, whether it is folded laundry or an organized garage, or giving the lawnmower a needed tune-up.  knowing you accomplished something together is a great confidence booster and relationship builder between you and your kids.

Play Games - This fall and winter favorite can be fun in the summer as well.  Play simple card games like War, Go Fish,  or teach your children other favorites.  My family also enjoys the board game Settlers of Cataan.  This game has several different expansion pack options, so we can keep the game fresh by adding to the game every once in a while.  Card games encourage children to think, reason and remember.  Games can also help you fight summer brain drain in your children.

Make No Bake Kitchen Treats.  Being stuck at home in the summer usually happens during high heat, when you don't want to cook and heat up the house.  Instead, make no-bake cookies, popsicles, ice cream, salads, fresh salsas, hummus or coleslaw.  preparing food together will also help to keep your child's math skills fresh by measuring and adding and subtracting amounts.  They will also sharpen their practical reading skills if they are following a recipe.

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