Your kids’ Spring Break and summer vacation are just around the corner. If you aren’t headed out of town, you are most likely trying to devise a plan that includes activities to keep the kids active and engaged. After all, you don’t want them eating every snack in the house, staring at their video games, staying up late, or constantly bickering with each other. If you are a parent who works regular hours during the week, kids’ time off can cause some problems. Here are some tips to keep the kids busy, safe, and healthy during their school breaks:
1. Coordinate. Communicate and connect with other parents to make plans. Take turns to coordinate chaperoning or carpooling to ensure the kids get to and from their activities. This will also provide peace-of-mind to parents that they are safe and with a responsible adult who is supervising their children.
2. Engage. Look for activities that engage children both mentally and physically. With all the technology we have to distract our children, they need to break away from those screens and get moving even more. Participating in a physical activity will also help your child release all that energy they need to get a good night’s sleep. And, what parent wouldn’t want their child to fall asleep before bedtime?! Maybe you could get a few extra minutes for yourself to relax and read that book you have been wanting to finish.
3. Discover. Try new things. Look for an activity that your child has never done before. Go for a hike on a new trail together, take them to the community center, explore a park or historic site, or go to an event at your local library. You could also have your child try a new sport or game. Make a meal together. Instead of going to a movie, make a movie. Volunteer. Plant some seeds and learn how to grow your own food! Have them attend a kids’ camp.
As you can imagine, kids have more opportunities to learn and grow when they are kept busy. They are less likely to get into trouble as well. Keeping your kids occupied doesn’t have to be expensive either, as there are plenty of activities that are free or provided at a low cost. Make sure that there are age-appropriate activities for each child so they do not feel overwhelmed, out-of-place, or bored. Also, try to provide several social activities during their break to help them develop their social and problem-solving skills. A kids’ camp can provide various activities that are age-appropriate to help them become comfortable in a small group, and many friendships and good memories can also come from these social experiences. Why not make your child’s spring break something they will remember for the rest of their life?
www.metro-parent.com (February 2011) Spring Break: Keeping Kids Active and Safe