Summer is here, and it’s that beloved (i.e. dreaded) time of the year when your kid’s out of school and hanging around the house with nothing to do for three months. Your general air of annoyance and jealousy aside (just because the kid’s free doesn’t mean you don’t have a 9-to-5 to be at), you probably need to think of something that will keep the kid busy and you, the parent, happy. Here are some things you can do to ensure your kid lives through the summer without dying of boredom, while you manage to stay sane.
Out of sight — out of mind
The easiest way to deal with a kid who has too much free time is to get rid of him, preferably without breaking any laws. If your parents, the kids grandparents, love the kid, you’ve got your solution right then and there. However, if you’re not this lucky, if your parents live too far away, or if your kid doesn’t like visiting them, you need to think outside of the box.
Send the kid to camp
No kid — no problem, and the counselors at summer camps probably have more kid-managing tricks up their sleeves than you could imagine. The kid will stay active by playing sports, socialize and make many new friends, and, as an added bonus, they will come back and tell you all about camp! Catching up on several weeks worth of activities might be a little difficult (especially if your kid tends to get excited while telling stories), but if you think about it, you’ve got your whole next summer planned out for yourself. They’ll tell you about all the activities they liked.
Give the kid something to do
There’s no reason that you should be the only one doing chores around the house. Create games which are centered around a job-reward scheme and encourage your kid to help you around the house. Don’t overload your kid by making them clean the whole house, but promising to take them out to a movie if they clean your room or help with the dishes is a win-win for everyone.
Three months of bonding
If you’re one of those parents who actually cherish the time they get to spend with their child, you can use the summer vacation to create a lasting bond with your child. There’s no reason that the two of you can’t have shared interests just because of your age difference.
Take a trip down memory lane
Show your kids how you grew up. Take them on a trip to your old house/city/town and encourage them to see where you came from. Show them your old school to prove that your kid has it better than you. Look at old photo albums together and tell your child stories from your childhood. If you’re one for a little bit of drama and acting, pretend to be embarrassed by the stories. It makes no sense in my head, but for some reason all children love it when their parents tell them embarrassing stories about themselves.
Cartoons aren’t just for kids
Watch cartoons with your child. Sure, My Little Pony and Disney Channel might be boring, but there’s no reason you can’t watch old, classic, Disney and Dreamworks cartoons. With classics like Mulan, Hercules, Lion King, Toy Story (1, 2 and 3), Shreck (1, 2, and 3) you will have enough cinematic experience to last you through the summer.
Taking a kid to the beach is also an option. But do keep in mind that you’ll be covered in sand from head to toe half the time while your kid keeps insisting on making sand castles, or worrying that the kid will drown in the sea, or get stung by jellyfish. And don’t forget to bring tons of sunscreen to re-apply after each time your child splashes in the water. It’s annoying, but you know, health safety comes first. Lets hope you manage to at least get a decent tan while you’re at it.
“Come on and grab your kid, you’re going to very distant lands. Old adult and tiny human, the fun will never end. Adventure Time!” (Adventure Time with Finn & Jake) This one is very simple: pack a backpack (bring food and sweets), grab the kid, get into the car, and just go somewhere for a day or a weekend. Don’t forget to bring a camera for those priceless bonding moments the two of you will have!