MamaBlogger365 – Keeping Kids Happy in the Summer by Diane Lang

It’s that time of year again! School is ending and summer vacation is starting. When summertime starts, the big question for most parents is: How do I keep my kids happy and busy over the summer? Here are some great tips from MamaBlogger365 contributor Diane Lang.

Keeping Your Kids Happy in the Summer

1. Even though school is out, you still want them to keep up their chores. Set up times and days for chores. This will help keep their normal routine even in the summer.

2. The library is a great place for free fun. The library has various children activities and events throughout the library.

For adults: Libraries also have great workshops, events and book signings for free. The library is a great place for everyone — take advantage of it this summer.

3. Most local libraries have reading programs for kids. These programs reward kids for reading. It’s a great way to motivate your kids to keep reading over the summer. Most libraries also give book suggestions for different ages.

While I’m talking about libraries: I find libraries to be a great place where I can bring my daughter and we can both enjoy the summer. My daughter can read a book or listen to story time while I get to read my favorite magazine.

4. Have some educational fun with good old-fashioned board games. Board games help with memory, fine motor skills (think Connect 4), problem solving and much more. Some great games: Monopoly, Sorry, Payday, etc.

5. Make sure your kids get plenty of physical exercise and fresh air. This can be done at your local park (bring a picnic and make it an all day event). The local park near me has a track right next to the playground so I can get some exercise while watching my daughter play.

My daughter can spend hours outside coloring our driveway with her chalk and then blowing bubbles. Add in the hula hoop and it’s a full day of fun. Just a few inexpensive ways to get fresh air and have fun!

6. Kids need play dates with kids their own age. If your child doesn’t go to camp, sign up your child for activities at your community center, park, library etc.

7. Look into discounts. Example: If you have cable, phone and Internet through Cablevision, you get a Cablevision card which allows free movies on Tuesdays.

8. Field trips are a great way to spice up your days. It can be a local trip to a lake, beach or a park. Then mix it up with museums, shows and mini-day trips to new local places.

9. Summer is a great time to get involved with volunteer work. Find a local place that lets kids volunteer. Try to make it a weekly or biweekly activity. Volunteering build kids self-esteem, teaches them respect for others and themselves. The bonus: Helping others gives us an instant happiness boost. So, the whole family can feel good.

10. Teach your kids some business skills. Have them start a _______ stand (depending on the laws and regulations in your area). They can fill in the line with lemonade, brownies, cookies, etc. Let them be creative and choose what they want to sell. Let them name their business, make the sign and decorate the table.

11. For parents: Make sure to check into your local supermarket and health clubs; they may have free daycare while you shop or exercise so you can keep your routine going.

12. Look into hiring a mother’s helper. This is great for stay at home parents or work at home parents who still need to get their own work done. A mother’s helper is usually a student who wants to make some extra money while entertaining your kids.

13. Don’t forget self-care! To remain sane in the summer months when the house is full, make sure to schedule in self-care. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will feel it — probably by the 4th of July! It’s important to make yourself a priority; don’t forget!

Bio: Diane Lang is an educator and Life Coach. Diane has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude that can actually turn one into an optimist, literally. A therapist and educator of Positive Psychology, she has seen that it can provide a strong foundation for finding great happiness and is gratified that it is becoming a mainstream method of treatment. As an expert in her fields of therapy, Diane has been featured in the Daily Record and Cookie Magazine, seen on NJ 12 TV and the national television program “Fox & Friends”. She has also participated in a reality based Internet show, ourprisoner.com, hosted Generation X-tinet and appeared in various educational videos. In addition Lang writes a bi-weekly column “The Balancing Act” at www.thealternativepress.com and sharing her expertise on parenting and living a positive lifestyle on The WTBQ Expat Show.

For more information visit Diane’s website, www.dlcounseling.com or e-mail her at Lifeline36@aol.com.

MamaBlogger365 needs you! Tell us how you’re re-framing motherhood and help the Museum of Motherhood secure a permanent home in 2011!

Photo credit: Playground At The Park by Shari Weinsheimer

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