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How to Plan Your Elementary Kid’s Summer Fun Now

by Margot F. | June 25th, 2014 | Elementary, School

children-204741_640School is almost over and now is the time to look at summer activities for children ages five to 12. While children in daycare have activities planned, a child at home can also enjoy lots of fun during July and August. With a bit of planning, a parent can find reasonably priced activities for their child and hopefully avoid hearing “I’m bored”.

I enjoyed planning summer activities for my older son through elementary school. By looking at brochures from the Parks & Recreation Department and the  local community calendar, it was possible to find activities that were of interest and at a reasonable price. To help my son know what was going on, I printed a blank calendar for each month and then wrote in the relevant activities for each week. For a pre-reader, putting pictures to represent activities might help. Older children can put the information in their phone to help them organize their time.

Public libraries have reading clubs and activities for children of various ages. Depending on the area, some library districts have a buddy reading program that partners children going into Grades 2, 3 and 4 with teenagers to help improve reading skills over the summer. Other districts have programs where children mark down the number of books read and collect a small prize when specific goals are reached. These programs tend to be free or a nominal cost.

Local community centers offer activities at a reasonable cost. Summer is the perfect time for structured swimming lessons, usually starting at age five and continuing up through the teen years. In some areas, there is the choice of an indoor or outdoor pool. Most swimming programs teach water safety to help the child remain safe while on the beach or enjoying boating activities.

Day camps offered in the community often put younger children (five to nine years) in one group and older children (seven to 13 years) in another. The camps are reasonably priced with youth leaders who have lots of energy and ideas. The child is given the chance to learn more about their community and try out new activities. By learning new skills, the child develops confidence and also makes new friends. Sometimes these camps are offered in different languages to help the child maintain their skills over the holidays.

Summer is also the time to try out new activities. Many specialized camps are only a week long so the child gets a chance to decide if they want to pursue the activity further. Some suggestions are “What the Hay” an introduction to farm animals in an urban setting for six to nine years, Claymation Movie Production for nine- to 12-year-olds and Top Chef (eight to 12 years). A club called “Mad Science” studies a variety of ideas each week including optical illusions, movie effects and detective science, which explains how science can solve real crimes. There are also camps for music enthusiasts and sports programs. Tennis anyone?

Planning summer activities for a child in elementary school helps promote learning and self-confidence. Have a great summer!

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