01 of 07
Start Your Summer Right
For kids, summer feels like it flies by, particularly when they are looking back on it as back-to-school time rolls around. But parents know it takes a lot to fill each of those long summer days while kids are at home.
Though I enjoy having summer fun with my kids, I also love it when they find creative things to do over summer without me. And I bet other work-at-home parents feel the same way.
So for a little inspiration, click through these slideshows daily summer activities. Organized by week,... each week has a different theme and 5 ideas. Week 1's theme is "Starting Your Summer Right," and its first activity is next.Continue to 2 of 7 below.
02 of 07
Join a Summer Reading Program
First things first. Start your summer right by setting into place a reason to read. A kid with his nose in a book isn't bickering with siblings or making a mess. But most important, of course, he is learning.
Some kids are born readers, some are reluctant readers, and some are in between. (I have one of each. Read about my family's reading challenge to see how I handle this.) Summer reading programs are a great way to inspire reading. I bet your local library has a summer reading program,... but if not try one of these summer reading programs, contests or clubs to inspire your child to read this summer.Continue to 3 of 7 below.
03 of 07
Write Your Summer Bucket List
For kids, fun always seems like a spontaneous thing. And often it is. Sometimes, kids can amuse themselves for hours with just a balloon or an empty paper towel roll. However, frequently parents have a hand in engineering kids' fun. It's not always as spontaneous as it looks!
Like everything else, fun can take some planning. So parents need to make a plan for summer. Take a little time early in the summer to map out some of the things your family wants to do this summer, e.g., day trips, p...icnics, family events, camping, the beach, amusement parks...whatever is on your summer bucket list. Keep clicking through this article for more ideas.Continue to 4 of 7 below.
04 of 07
Set Up Play Dates
Kids are social animals. At school, they are constantly interacting with other kids. So when summer comes and the number of kids they can regularly interact with dwindles to only a few, they get bored quickly. And boredom is the enemy of every work-at-home parent! I find that I am more productive when I have an extra kid or two visiting than I am with just my three at home.
But my kids are old enough that they don't need a lot of direct supervision when playing with friends. If yours are not,... set up a "kid swap" where you watch a friend's kids one day and she watches yours another.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Find a Summer Program
Sometimes within the first couple weeks of summer it can feel like your kids are already running out of things for kids to do at home. And when that happens it's time to look for something not at home. Problem is, a lot things, like summer camp, might be filled already.
So, what's a parent to do? Find summer programs that meet weekly. These give kids something to look forward to and put some structure in the days. Also they allow kids some social time, helping them meet new kids and/or... reconnecting them with their school friends.
Every summer a free art class has been an important part of our weekly routine. And sometimes there are other activities--not always free--that come up as the summer goes along. Other types of classes, swim lessons, sports teams, library events.Continue to 6 of 7 below.
06 of 07
Get the Summer Homework Started
Summer is just getting started, and the last thing kids want to think about is summer homework. But working consistently on homework all summer beats an all-nighter just before back-to-school time. And for some kids, summer homework can keep them busy while a parent works at home.
Ready for more things to do this summer? See Summer Activities: Look, Listen and Learn.Continue to 7 of 7 below.