How to keep your kids entertained as summer drags on!

summer-activity-graphicWe are one month into summer, but for many of us, the novelty is over and we are starting to feel like summer is dragging on. We planned activities, scheduled camps…but here we are, with our kids, getting on each other’s nerves and already looking forward to the start of school.

The lack of routine and structure in our children’s days can really affect the usual, relatively smooth, moderately peaceful routines in our homes. So as we look ahead to the next 4, 6 or 8 weeks of summer, we may feel panic thinking of ways to keep our children occupied.

Summer can be a fantastic time for self-discovery — a time when our children can tune into themselves and their own strengths and interests. When thinking of personal strengths, I think about the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, first discussed by Harvard professor Howard Gardner. While our children are complex people and probably do not fall neatly into just one category, we often see their preferences in one or two of the categories below. Use this chart to identify your child’s personal strengths and activities that may prove appealing…

A child who is….                                             May like to…

Verbal/linguistic Read, listen to stories, write, play word games
Logical/mathematical Use puzzles, Sudoku, brain teasers, computer games, play checkers, chess, Monopoly
Visual/spatial Draw, paint, take photos, use online tools like Canva to create graphics
Kinesthetic Play sports, take lessons, act, tinker, build models
Musical Play an instrument, sing, make up songs, dance, listen to music
Interpersonal Participate in clubs, organizations, volunteer, work as a camp counselor
Intrapersonal Journal, read books about self-study, learn to meditate
Naturalistic Hike, explore in nature, garden, collect rocks, feathers

Hopefully some of these activities seem like a natural fit for your child. It can be helpful for our children when we provide them with appealing options. But remember — it is okay to let them be bored! They may complain at first, but they will learn to tolerate less structure in their often highly-scheduled lives, and tap into their own curiosities and interests. Downtime is an excellent time to explore the things they have a knack for, and hopefully this list gives you a starting point for helping them find their passion.

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