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Now now, what are we to do? The kids are home but home happens to be where we work. Maybe you were highly responsible and you have had them signed up for Summer Camp, Music Camp, Dance Camp and every option under the sun for weeks. Great job! But maybe, they’re home with you and you can use a few suggestions to keep them entertained. We’re entertaining Punky & Cat this summer, so here are a few ideas that have been working for us.
How to Entertain the Kids Over Summer Break?
Let them make breakfast!
Seriously, they’ll be fine. It might get messy but the experience is wonderful for them. Punky is famous for adding green food coloring to pancakes. Cat loves them! Personally, I think it’s weird but it’s a big deal to her so…whatever! Somedays we make “instant” pancakes other times I get involved and help them make pancakes from scratch. They love to crack eggs and mix the batter. I’m pretty sure Punky is one of few 7 yr olds who can flip a pancake. It’s a life skill, people!
If you happen to have a picky eater, like Punky, engaging them in cooking helps them feel better about what they’re eating. Punky is more likely to eat scrambled eggs if she has made them herself. We have a food tasting rule but that only works sometimes so I find that this method works best. She makes it, she tastes it.
Let’s face some facts, allowing children to cook for themselves helps them learn to be self-sufficient. My rule: don’t wait around for me to feed you…matter of fact, go make me some coffee! Once breakfast is done, make sure they help clean off the table and load the dishwasher. One day, our sweeties will go off to college. We don’t want our kids to be the roommate who never loads the dishwasher. These simple steps now will avoid fights later in life. Build character, every day!
Schedule Studying Time
It’s summertime and of course we want to have fun but we also want to keep minds sharp with the lessons learned during the school year. This summer, we joined the reading program at our library. It’s tracking how many books we’ve read and issuing points which are redeemable for prizes at the library. This is keeping the girls motivated to read every day. We may not be able to go out on great adventures every day but reading is the next best option.
We’re also downloading free worksheets from https://www.education.com/worksheets/ to focus on math and reading skills. Yes, these sheets are educational but they are fun, so they qualify as a way to entertain the kids over summer break.
Don’t have a printer? No worries! Order, Summer Bridge Activity Books!
Each of our girls have one, and they stay in the car, with a new pack of crayons.
MOM TIP: Few things are cooler to a kid than a new pack of crayons. Keep a stockpile.
Because Cal and I both work from home, it’s important that the girls be able to entertain themselves. Its especially important in the morning so we can check our emails, follow up on said emails and just work. Breakfast and study time help to keep them busy, so we can be busy.
Schedule “Alone Time”
Now let’s be honest – as much as I want these girls to be best friends – they can be a lot. They annoy each other, which in turn annoys us. (I can speak freely here, right?) We try to encourage ‘alone time’, which makes them miss each other and then, ta da, all is right in the world.
“Alone time” means that Punky is either reading a Geronimo Stilton book, she’s obsessed, or having Ipad time. Cat will either be playing with dolls or, herself, having Ipad time. We are pretty stingy with Ipad time through the school year and we haven’t become very lenient, just yet. It’s early in the summer though, so check back in a couple of weeks.
Plan a Picnic
Punky & Cat love to picnic. They love it so much, they’ll do it in the yard. Yes, my dears! The backyard is a great place to lay a blanket and let the kids eat al fresco. Live in a condo? Have a picnic in the living room!
Sure, getting to the your local conservatory is a great option too, we do love to picnic at Garfield Park Conservatory, but do what you can do.
Let the kids pack their picnic. Punky makes sandwiches and Cat packs snack bags such as goldfish or fruit snacks and juice boxes. In some cases, they invite their stuffed animals. Team work means the girls are busy and we can work.
Schedule a Water Fight
Water fights are, hands down, the best way to entertain the kids over summer break. I recently visited Dollar Tree, while out of town, picked up a few water squirters and taught the girls how to duel.
Haven’t had a duel in a while? It’s easy! Stand back to back, count five paces (count higher for older kids), turn and SQUIRT!!! They thought this was the funniest game ever, probably because they were squirting me but we all had a great laugh.
Last tip to Entertain the Kids over Summer Break…
I don’t care what you do, just go outside! We all need vitamin D. The only natural source of vitamin D is exposure to the sun. Remember the sunscreen but just go outside. Ride bikes, roller skate, fly a kite, go for a walk…come to Chicago to visit Lincoln Park Zoo, admission is free! It’s difficult to be a working parent and balance entertaining the kids over summer break but they’re kids and they need to run. Take your laptop & phone and sit outside with them – let the other mom’s judge if they must. You can bring in the bacon from the playground!
Trust me, I understand that hanging out with the kids all day can be stressful. How do teachers do it? I don’t even know. Bless their hearts!
Share your tips with us on how you entertain the kids over summer break!