With the summer holidays upon us, parents across the land will have to contend with the not-always-welcome presence of their offspring morning, noon and night. In order to keep these young minds occupied and out of trouble, it’s often necessary to devise suitable distractions for them. These distraction needn’t be needless chores, either – they can be a great opportunity to develop a life skill. In this article, we’ll run through a few of them, and see how to keep your children entertained and out of trouble.
Activities to do at home
Since your child will be spending the majority of their time during summer cooped up indoors, it’s essential that that time be put to the best possible use. Let’s take a look at some of the things they should be encouraged to occupy themselves with.
Baking is perhaps the best place to start. Children can be allowed to mix – and even sample – cake mixture in order to develop their pallet. Suffice to say, this isn’t something that should require much encouragement!
Cooking can also be a collaborative process; you might want to gradually introduce your child to the various processes involved by having them perform tasks for you, like chopping onions and peeling carrots, before moving them onto more involved positions.
Similarly, practicing a musical instrument might be something that your child might be interested in. If you’re going to make this investment, then you should be aware that some instruments come with a long-term cost. A drum kit, for example, is going to make an enormous racket for a decade or more, while a violin, to begin with, will make a noise that’s truly nauseating. For convenience and volume control, it’s perhaps best to begin with an electric instrument and a set of decent headphones.
Being able to express oneself through drawing is a wonderful thing. If your child is artistically minded, then encourage them to hone their craft by buying them the necessary supplies and workspace. Encourage them to develop and help them to be self-critical, and genius (or at least, distraction) may well result!
With video games and technology keeping children inside, it’s more important than ever that children are afforded the opportunity to get out into the garden and stretch their legs. Fortunately, the country is filled with leisure centres and playing fields, and so there may be countless local opportunities for them to do so. Let’s run through a few of the more popular ones!
Football is an incredibly popular sport that’s played everywhere there’s a suitably flat surface. If your child has shown an interest in the sport, then make sure they’ve the opportunity to benefit from proper supervision, and that they’re exposed to the pressure of competition with children of their own age and ability.
Tennis is another popular sport, but one which is more suited to those who prefer to compete alone, without having to rely on others. It’s a sport which is very physically demanding, and will help your children to maintain a level of fitness. Like many other racquet sports, tennis can be played with the help of a doubles partner – making it a flexible and fun pastime.
Splashing about in a swimming pool is enormously fun – and it can be taken as seriously as the participants would like it to be. As well as providing children with the means to actually swim if called upon in an emergency. Swimming is a vital life skill that can prevent seriously injury and death – and we’re not talking merely about rare and dramatic events like plane crashes, but simple everyday trips to the seaside and swimming baths. By taking your child swimming, you’ll ensure that they’re adequately prepared for what’s to come. It may not be quite the same but for hot days you can get the paddling pool out in the garden, many modern inflatable pools can be quite big so your children can swim around and cool down. Water fights can also be great for your kids and their friends with just a few water guns and balloons, be sure to set some ground rules first like to avoid the face.
If your child is so-inclined, they might wish to enrol in a martial arts class. Martial arts come in a number of different forms, ranging from graceful, elaborate ones to the more functional and brutish. Just as with swimming, being able to control violent impulses is something that’s essential in life – and the ability to defend oneself when necessary may undoubtedly prove useful, too.
With a whole six weeks to keep your kids entertained, it may help to give them something they can invest in like learning an instrument or developing their art skills, however if your child is happy playing out with friends every day then let them. For rainy days it’s always good to have in plenty of board games, Monopoly for example can keep your kids occupied for a good chunk of the day. By taking trips to the beach and days out, this will break up the time and reduce the risk of them becoming bored from doing the same things every day.