With the onset of summer, children leave their classrooms, school desks and well ordered timetabled days behind them to finally welcome three months of unmitigated freedom. Although my schooldays are thankfully behind me, I can still taste the joyful bliss of that moment when the bell rang on the last day of school – that magical and most euphoric feeling of the knowledge of those three whole months stretched out before me. Months where I had no obligations, no homework and no need to wake up so early… Ah, the beauty of childhood!
For parents, on the other hand, summer is another matter. True, parents look forward to a time when they can enjoy their children’s company throughout the whole day; they can go to the beach with them, play with them, and hear what they have to say, without the jostling frenzy and the humdrum of everyday life where their kids, busy with school, private lessons, and copybooks to be filled, barely have the time for a quiet meal with their parents. And yet, if we’re to be totally honest, most parents dread the summer months too. This is because, unfortunately, although children can enjoy their unblemished three months of holidays and fun, parents on the other hand still have to go to work.
The house still needs to be cleaned, chores still need to be done, and that never-ending mound of clothes to be washed never seems to diminish. So, although parents may enjoy the fact that their children spend whole days around the house, they also come to see this as a distraction as well. Not to mention that even the children themselves, in the end, end up getting bored of hours, days, and weeks mulching unproductively around the house.
This is why it’s not only healthy but also wise to prepare for the summer months beforehand. In this case, the preparation I refer to would include coming up with a number of fun activities for the kids to do during their holidays. After having spent the better part of the year cooped up inside due to the cold and bad weather, it’s a priority for kids to be able to stretch their legs outdoors while they have the chance, which is why I think that most of these activities should take place outside if possible. Here are some possible ideas to consider:
If your house sports a garden or a spacious roof, getting hold of an inflatable above-ground swimming pool would be a great idea. The kids could spend days on end having fun while staying cool, without having to be ferried back and forth to the beach, while you can get to do your chores inside at the same time.
Beach cleaning is another activity which could be organised. This will not only allow children to make new friends, but if organised correctly, it could also teach them the value of environmental respect, the importance of recycling, and the active protection of nature. Parents could lead and take care of the group in turns, perhaps making it a once-in-a-fortnight activity.
Summer camping is also another idea, depending on the heat, temperature and the chosen location. It’s important to check what permits are needed when camping on the beach. This could figuratively get the children out of your hair for at least one weekend, during which it could be your turn to take some time off. That is of course, if you don’t elect to make it a family event instead, and join in on the fun!
Squirt guns! Now those bring back some fond memories! Kids nowadays tend to be too focused on their Playstations, TVs, laptops and iPads these days. Why not arm them with some water and plastic guns and take them to the beach where they can indulge in some physical mischievous games? Summer’s the perfect time for such water games!
How about some gardening? It’s never too early to start learning about how to tend to nature, and to experience the joy of watching something you took care of start to grow. Some mucking about in the sun and playing with sprinklers would not go amiss either. Just arm them with sunscreen and hats and make sure they don’t track soil and mud all over the floor afterwards!
How do your children spend their summer holidays?
Let us know in the comment section below.