Summertime has arrived and with it are opportunities to have fun with your children. Having fun with your kids is an important part of being a parent. Ever notice that a good salesperson will always spend time developing a positive relationship with you before she tries to sell you anything? She knows that half the job of effectively influencing someone is first developing a relationship. Once the person has been “won over,” the sale is much easier to make. (Can you imagine a salesperson being autocratic and demanding a sale? “You’ll buy this because I’m the salesperson and I said so!”)
The same is true for parenting. The more you can enrich your relationship with your child, the more of an influence you will have in his life. This will prevent many problems, as well as make discipline much easier when it is called for. Here are a few ideas for what to do with your kids this summer depending on what they like.
1. Create an art project
A fun thing to do when you have extra time is to do a big art project. It can be anything from painting to coloring or making bracelets. Whatever interests your child is the way to go. Art projects let your child make decisions, become inventive, and learn to create something from nothing. They also help develop motor skills and dexterity in developing children. And who knows, your kid might be inspired to continue creating after the project if finished.
2. Play outside
Find a pool, go hiking, play catch, start a garden. Whatever you do, get outside and have some fun. When you play outside, you’re away from screens and distractions and have the opportunity to talk, laugh, and learn with your children. It also has several health benefits that includes reducing stress, increasing focus, and boosting the all important vitamin D. If it’s hot you can have something cool at a treat. You earned it.
3. Cook something
Cooking is a skill that your children can use for the rest of their lives. It’s enjoyable for children to help contribute to the meal and they’re more likely to eat (or try) whatever they made. Cooking your own food allows you to know exactly what you’re putting into your body and is healthier than eating processed foods. It’s relaxing, fun, constructive, and will give your child something that betters their life. What’s not to love?
4. Puzzles and old school games
With all of the new technology and entertainment, it’s easy to forget about good old classic puzzles and games. They offer a great chance to spend time playing competitively or constructively as a family. Plop down a board game and watch the night fly by as you begin a new family past time. Or spend a few hours working on a puzzle and save it as a trophy.
5. Read together
We’ve spent time talking about the importance of reading with or to your kids and summer is the perfect time to snuggle up with a book series. “Summer reading” sometimes has a stigma among kids but use it as a way to foster a love of books. Choose something off a list or dig into something just for fun.
6. Take a summer trip
If you’re going on a summer vacation, get together with your kids and plan out your activities. Do some research on where you’re going to help tie some education into the fun. It’ll enrich your trip and give you a chance to teach your children how to use the internet (or they might teach you).
Now that summer is here, you might find yourself with extra time to get constructive with your children. Take time for fun but don’t feel like you need to be Captain Project. Do what’s fun and be sure to relax, this should be an enjoyable season with your kids. The most important thing is simply spending time with them.