The two and a half month summer school break wears a little long once your kid’s jubilation at being out of school wears off. Keeping your children entertained away from the television, computer and gaming console can be challenging. Lucky for you, Smart Office is here to help!
I firmly believe that good books are among life’s great pleasures. Away from the pressures and assignments of school, summer break is a great time to instill a love of reading in your kids. You can just drop some kids off at the library and let them have at it. However, summer reading programs are great for kids who won’t crack open a book without a little push. Most libraries have a summer reading program you can turn to for book ideas and a bit of structure. Or you can make a book list of your own and form a family book club. The National Endowment for the Humanities offers a great list of summer reading books. The NEH summer reading book list sticks to classics such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Gwendolyn Brooks’ Bronzeville Boys and Girls, so all of its suggestions make great summer reading for the whole family. The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, offers more contemporary book list suggestions in the Current Notables Children’s Book List.
The ALSC offers great middle and high school summer reading, as well as selections for young readers. Borders is offering your kids a little extra incentive by giving away free books to kids who finish their summer reading lists.
Summer crafts are the can’t fail indoor activities for kids. Kaboose, a great parent resource with fun kids recipes and activities, also offers hundreds of fun crafts for kids that seldom require more than a little paint, brushes, crayons and construction paper. Remember, if you don’t have already have a good supply of kids’ art supplies, you get great prices at OnTimeSupplies.com when you buy art supplies in bulk.
Summer reading lists and craft projects are time-tested, lo-fi summer activities for kids, but I haven’t forgotten that this is the age of electronics! One great way to take advantage of today’s digital technology, while exercising your kids minds and bodies is to make your own home movie! YouthLearn.org offers step-by-step instructions in a kids video project. Besides a digital camera that can capture short video clips, all you need is a large sketch pad and a few pencils. Who knows? Your child could be the next Spielberg! Ok, probably not, but this is still a great summer-long project garunteed to engage your kids creativity and develop their problem solving skills. HP also offers fun photo projects for kids, along with some photo tips for taking perfect pictures we can all use!
Of course, the best summer ideas are timeless. You had great fun catching lightning bugs, running through sprinklers and riding your bike all over the neighborhood when you were a kid. So will your children. The always helpful folks at About.com have put together a great list of time-tested summer fun ideas that will inspire more than few sepia-tinged memories of the long summer days and nights of your childhood. Check it out and help your kids make their own great summer memories!