The summer holidays shouldn’t just be about entertaining your children every day. Planning schedules of where you are taking them, budgeting how much money you have for days out and worrying that you aren’t doing as much as the family over the road. We need to scrap this idea of filling up their time with endless activities and let them get bored.
If we’re always filling up their time with constant things to do, when will they learn to be creative? Where will they find their imagination? How will they be able to occupy themselves? I’m not saying don’t treat them to the odd day out here and there, but to always have plans can have as negative an effect as doing nothing at all. What happens when you can’t afford trips out? Or when you have done everything to death? How about if you’re ill?
If you have children that are used to constantly being entertained, they have short attention spans, have great expectations of what you should be doing and won’t be as grateful for the time spent together. There is no point setting yourself up for a fall by planning a whole 6 weeks of activities and days out.
A perfect thing for them to be involved in is the Lifestyle Challenge. If you don’t live in North Yorkshire then see if there is anything similar going on near you, or organise it yourself. Get your children and their friends to think up their own project that would benefit the community and that they would also enjoy. Supervise them so they are safe - or another adult over 18 – and let them do the work. See how creative and passionate about their community they become.
If there are any children in your neighbourhood that tend to misbehave then get them involved. The best way to turn bad behaviour around is with praise and giving them a purpose. Children that love being in the limelight could put on a show for the elderly in the community, singing and dancing, doing magic and tricks or acting out a play. They could make the costumes from old clothes donated by the local community.
It’s a great idea to encourage the elderly and young to get together. Hold an afternoon tea with baked goods the children have made, have a story time where the elderly tell tales from when they were young and the children can tell them what they like doing now and compare the difference. Maybe there are a lot of elderly people in your area without family, your child could ‘adopt’ a Grandma or Granddad. Make a point of visiting them regularly, offering to run errands or help to clean, with their responsible adult of course.
If you need funds for your projects, you could have sponsored events like a bike ride, a night-time walk or a big camp out. These activities will bring out the best in your children and keep them occupied when you don’t have the funds, time or energy to take them out. Just make sure everything is above board and an adult supervises fundraising activities.
Notice how proud of their community they become. Watch the budding business minds blossom. See how they respect the elderly in the neighbourhood. Are you ready to take on a summer holiday challenge?