It’s summer once again and I’m sure parents, caregivers and even aunts like me are busy thinking of productive things to do during school break. Truth is, making things extra ‘fun’ will not only keep these kids busy for summer, but make our lives easier as well. Win-win for everyone? Definitely!
For the past 10 months, I’ve been spending quiet mornings with Lolong on weekdays. Now that school year is over, I rarely get to enjoy such moments since Kuya is, how do I put this – ALL OVER THE HOUSE! Lol! I’m not complaining (well sometimes, yes), that’s why I mentally noted some things we can do to make good use of the time – rather than watching TV and iPad for the whole day. Aahhh… kids these days!
And since I finally got the chance to sit down and write, I will share some of the things I’ve been doing and most likely will be doing for the next two months with my nephews.
8 Productive Things to Do During School Break:
Indoor and outdoor play will be the perfect excuse to at least get them to exercise their body. Kuya can easily adapt to a sedentary lifestyle by simply watching TV or watching videos in the iPad. I bet he can do this for the whole day – non-stop – and this is what I fear the most. Aside from greater risks of having poor eye vision, I am also promoting laziness and dependency on such gadgets.
I’ve been lucky to grow up in an environment where kids my age would come out to play as early as 1:00 pm – rain or shine. I often came home stinky, sometimes with cuts and bruises, and a little darker than the previous day (that’s what you get if you were raised on a tropical country).
Playtime had been an integral part of my childhood which I seriously hope to pass on to my nephews. We’ve been doing hide-and-seek almost everyday since school break and I’m also planning to let Kuya do some kite-flying on the weekend. Can’t wait for that! Here are some other things we do together during playtime.
Spare time for educational games
How often do you let them play snakes & ladders, jenga, or dominoes? Oftentimes, we have these educational games available but we don’t have the time to actually sit down and teach it to them. What is an hour or so, right?
Aside from these actual board games, there are also tons of online educational games. Kuya loves watching videos on YouTube but sometimes I let him do online jigsaw puzzles. Drawing, coloring, and simple strategic games are also available in various child-friendly websites.
How about Lolong? Hmmm… He would either be walking around the house, messing the board game, or watching (and sometimes dancing) the Ready, Steady, Wiggles show. Not bad for a 1-year old!
Continue doing homework
This is NOT something new for Kuya and which we intend to continue for a (very) long time. I believe that kids his age should be exposed to such activities so they won’t have hard time adjusting in school works later on. It doesn’t need to be given everyday, but, during such time, I always tell Kuya to keep his focus and finish independently (as much as possible).
Kuya has lots of activity books in Social Science, Math, Science, and English. This is a good exercise to at least give him an idea of what to expect when he goes back to school in September. It is actually easy to administer homework via coercion – but I DON’T want to do that.
Thus, the challenge for me (every single time) is how to make it fun and interesting for him.When Kuya is busy on his books, I give Lolong a notebook and some crayons for which he can freely scribble. Anyway, seeing them doing other things besides watching TV and iPad is more than enough for me.
Read… Read… Read…
Currently, Kuya’s reading assessment is on Level 1 and I’m hoping to make a great leap from it for the whole summer. Of course, the only way I can do this is to let him continue reading storybooks, activity works, and sometimes, children’s encyclopedia.
I have no problem letting him read his books. He likes this activity more than solving Math problems. And since he gets bored re-reading old ones, I often go to the city library on Sundays and borrow a bunch of books for him to read at home.
Subscribe to e-books
Aside from borrowing books in libraries, electronic books are also a huge help for the summer break. Of course, Kuya favors this one not since he has a valid excuse to extend his hours on the iPad.
There are tons of e-books online and just recently, I chanced upon Epic! – your Netflix when it comes to children’s books for ages 12 and under. I immediately signed up for the 30-day trial and so far I like the choice of books Kuya has been reading to.
The good thing about these e-books is that they can read it anytime. So the next time we go to the mall, and Kuya starts fidgeting over nothing, then I can simply take out my smartphone and let him read through it. Haha! Good thinking!
Do arts & crafts
This is definitely a breath of fresh air for both Kuya and Lolong. I often initiate doing arts & crafts for homework after a week of reading and solving Math problems. And oftentimes, I find myself smiling since I think I’m enjoying this activity more than them.
I recently visited Pinterest for some great ideas and as always, I found tons of no-cost projects which we can do. See more of our arts & crafts adventures here.
Enroll them in camps
Every year, my sister and brother-in-law sends Kuya to camps organized in the community center. Aside from the obvious reason of kicking him out of the house, these camps are a great way to enhance his social skills and learning new things as well.
The first few months I got here, I was really impressed how these centers play a huge role in building a healthy community particularly kids of Kuya’s age. I love how their program focuses on fun, learning, and staying healthy all at the same time. It is quite costly, yes, but the experience your child would be getting will all be worth it. I think that’s the important thing here, right?
Arrange for a quick getaway
Back in my childhood days, summer breaks would not be complete without taking a quick getaway with the family. Perhaps a beach outing, road trip, hiking, or a simple trip to the zoo is already a perfect way to expose them to far greater things. Moreover, take this chance to truly bond with the kids and the whole family.
It doesn’t have to be grand nor costly. Remember, these are kids and with them a simple trip could already mean so much more. After all, all they wanted is to have fun with their mommies and daddies. Furthermore, I think it also important to give them a sort of reward for almost a year of hard work in school and inspire them to do better on the next school year.
The last two activities requires some extra expense for the parents. However, I do not want to miss out on this mainly because I think it is also a great way for children to be productive this summer break.
So that caps off my list of the productive things to do during school break. Have fun with your little ones, in my case my nephews. How about you? What are your brilliant plans to make the school break interesting for them?