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Category:  Family Fun

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Summer Fun

by Nikki Willhite

www.allthingsfrugal.com

Summer can be a lot of fun for your family. However, in many cases, come August, moms are more than ready to put their children back in school. When the novelty of summer wears off, and the vacations are over, the kids can get bored. They may get hot and irritable, and mom may have trouble coping.

The moms I've seen handle summer the best are the ones that have lots of activities planned for their kids. With that in mind, here are some of the things you can do in the summer to make it more enjoyable for everyone.

*Get your boys involved in scouting and cub scouting. There should be several units in your area associated with either a Church, civic or school group. Scouting expenses are minimal. The activities are wonderful.

*Involved your girls in similar activities. Girls often enjoy the outdoors as much as the boys do. When my sons go on their hiking and rock climbing trips they often have girls along. Many times the girls are able to summit while some of the boys don't make it.

*Take advantage of community based summer programs. Every child should learn how to swim. Our local center offers everything from tumbling classes to group piano lessons.

*Check with your local library for summer programs. In addition to the reading programs they have at the library, they will have information about other community activities.

*Music lessons enrich children's lives if they are so inclined. Help them to appreciate good music, and they won't play the garbage they call music- now when they get older. If lessons are not an option, use records or other toys. The library has lots of music. Make it a game to learn and recognize the sounds of different instruments.

*Summer is also a good time to expose your children to art and photography. Visit art galleries, involve your children in picture taking and framing.

*The same holds true with movies and the classics. Make sure they see the good moves, so they can recognize the good from the bad. Good movies teach good lessons. It's a shame not to see them.

*Use this free time to teach your children skills you don't have time for during the school year such as sewing, knitting, crocheting, cooking, and other homemaking skills. Boys and girls can learn to repair things around the home, as well as carpentry skills.

*There are lots of ideas for crafts that children can do on the Internet and in the stores. Introduce them to a new one each year. One example would be tie dying. It's very easy to do. Have them do a plain white t-shirt. They will have a ball and love wearing it.

*Summer is also a great time to visit aquariums, fish ladders, or in our case, go to places where you can watch for whales. Introduce your children to sea life. The earth is covered with water. Make them curious. Keep their minds stimulated, and they will do better in school.

*Summer and water go hand in hand. If you have water nearby, whether a lake or stream, take your kids there often. There is nothing as refreshing as playing in the water on a hot day. Kids have lots of energy. Let them burn it off, and they will behave better when they are home.

When they get older they can fish and swim. One of my sons saved up for a rubber boat. I'll always remember our trips to the lake. He let me laze in the bow while he rowed me around. My kids also had wonderful opportunities to go water skiing and canoeing through their affiliations with Church groups and Scouting units. These programs are available to anyone who is interested.

*If you live in the city, drive into the country one night and let them see the stars. They can be an incredible sight to those who have never seen the sky full of them. Camping is also fun, even in the backyard.

*Sports can keep kids occupied for hours. If team sports are not an option, put up a hoop, tie an inner tube to a big tree, or buy a trampoline, scooter, or skates. Kids can be surprisingly inventive when it comes to having fun. In some areas of the country windstorms will blow big tumbleweeds close to town. The kids love to go out there and jump over them.

All families can participate in sports together, whether it's in the back yard or at the park. Some ride bikes together, while others walk, hike, or camp. When kids are very small, just pulling them around in a wagon is fun for them

*Kids love games when they are small. They love to play them with you! Have a good supply of board games and other puzzles. One of my fondest memories as a youth was playing crossword puzzles with my grandmother when she would come to visit.

*Take advantage of the summer weather to teach your children about the earth and growing things. Everyone has room for a few containers. Let each child have his own and tend it himself. If you have a larger garden, divide it up and have each child responsible for a section. Teach them to pull weeds and cultivate the soil around the plants. Children love to grow things they can eat. Give them something to tend that they enjoy eating.

*Teach your kids the value of money by letting them make some. There are always extra chores to be done in the summer that your kids can do. Give them a little money to pull weeds or do some watering. There are also opportunities to feed pets or take care of houses while others are on vacation. One summer one of my sons was into recycling, and we took long walks together while he collected aluminum cans.

Every family is different. Find things your family enjoys and make the time to do them while the weather is nice. Make summer a time of activities and happy memories.



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