Inspire your kids this summer
The house has a different energy during the summer. Fewer alarm clocks, less morning chaos, and the dress code is pajama chic. Schools are out and summer days are long and the kids are always looking for an adventure. Every summer I feel like I need to do something special with the kids, yet by the time it’s over I feel like we pretty much do the same thing every year; swimming, picnics, a few family gatherings here and there. This summer break I decided to set one goal: inspire the kids to discover themselves. I’m aware of how broad this statement is, but it’s a starting point. My mission was to arrange for them to be in situations that are exciting and unfamiliar so they can figure out what truly makes them happy and engaged.
Setting No. 1- Novel activities
You really never know what your child enjoys until they try it! I searched for the most offbeat and unfamiliar activities I could find in our community and signed the kids up. It was a short-lived struggle when I mentioned that we won’t be doing gymnastics or football as usual, but I managed to get them through the door. We tried sculpting, puppetry, and gardening classes. Eventually we found out that my eldest was quite skilled as a gardener and my youngest is happily creating puppets and performing for us whenever she can.
Setting No. 2- Learn a new language
Whether your child is already learning a new language at school and wants to retain what they learnt during the school year, or simply wants to learn about a new language and culture to be able to converse with a new friend they met at the pool, summer time is the perfect time for that. New apps and technologies facilitate the learning process and most apps provide a gamified experience that kids love. These handy digital tools make it easier to practice and learn anytime anywhere. My kids chose to learn Arabic and we loved “I Read Arabic” app. It was easy to use and provided a truly enjoyable gamified learning experience and hundreds of amazing books that my kids were excited to read.
Setting No. 3- Create a “Summer Family Tradition”
Although the days are longer in the summer time, it feels like summer flies by quicker each year. It felt like we should be slowing down and recording every moment! The idea of a “summer family tradition” came from my youngest kid. She saw her friend’s family do it and she was determined to find something everyone agrees on. After several semi-friendly discussions, we decided to go for a yearly summer bucket list. Before summer starts, we all sit down and make a summer bucket list so everyone gets to do something they want with the whole family. Our bucket list included a campfire, a “Digital Detox Day” which was my chosen tradition, a family bike race and building a backyard obstacle course.
Setting No. 4- Loosen the reigns and relax
Summer usually means staying up later, sleeping in, and eating more ice cream. Routines are put on hold and there is quite a lot of laziness going around. My advice is: Try your best to relax and enjoy it. Some aspects of the routine need to remain in place as kids thrive on that, especially their chores and responsibilities. However, summer break comes around once a year. Embrace the season and the nice weather and make sure you let the kids have some alone time to unwind and recharge. Overloading activities will affect their mood and behavior so make sure you space everything out. Kids need to spend time alone in order to think freely and create and find out who they truly are. Providing them with downtime by themselves is a special way of inspiring them to be independent and comfortable.
These are just a few ideas for your summer break with the kids to keep them engaged. You can try them at different times or all at once. Happy Summer!
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