For many people, summer is a magical season full of fishing, swimming and bike riding, but for a work-at-home parent, summer can feel like a hectic disaster. While your kids are launching alternating assaults of mess-making and whining, you may be struggling to finish a single task without an interruption. By planning a few activities this summer for your kids, however, you can easily keep them entertained while you hit the grindstone. Here are some ideas.
It never fails that the day you have a deadline is the day your children decide they really need your help to amuse themselves. In most cases, a quick promise you’ll take them to the pool on Saturday or help them build their model rocket next Sunday just isn’t enough. Luckily, you may be able to distract your children with a few surprise games.
Parents Magazine suggests traditional board games never go out of style and recommends introducing your child to games such as “Chutes and Ladders,” “Sequence” or “Sorry.” Older kids may enjoy playing games such as “Monopoly,” “Scrabble,” “Risk,” or poker. Before the summer starts, you may want to stock your shelves with games such as these, and in moments when your child is bored or whiny, you can simply whip out a game as a surprise.
Don’t be afraid of encouraging your children to play on their own, either. If your child really likes to play with other kids, set up a play date. Sometimes, it’s easier to get work done when there is another child around to keep your little one amused.
Screens, Screens, Screens
Many kids will sit immobilized for hours in front of a flashing screen, but if you’re providing them with quality content, there is no reason you should feel guilty about this. There are countless documentaries and educational shows, available through providers such as www.Cable-TV.com, and these should keep your kids busy while also stimulating their minds. Also, video games such as “Minecraft” are currently the rage for kids, and games such as this can also be consumed guilt-free as they stimulate your child’s creativity and pour the foundation for solid math skills.
Children love to be read to, and hearing stories also helps literacy and comprehension, citing a study from Monica Olivera of NBC Latino. Thanks to audiobooks, you can easily turn this task to the professionals. Although you miss the opportunity to read to your children, they’ll love how a professional narrator makes the story more compelling by doing the voices expertly and relaying the text in an easy-to-comprehend manner.
The right story has the potential to keep your child amused for hours, and if your child finds a series, he or she might keep busy all summer. Most libraries have children’s audiobooks to borrow, and in some cases, you may even be able to get a digital copy through your library’s online service. In a pinch, you can visit a website that offers free downloads of classic stories such as “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” or “Five Children and It.”
During weeks, you know you’re going to be extra busy, consider sending your child to camp. Whether your child likes building things or fishing, science or acting, you can easily find an appropriate camp. Day camps allow your child to return home at night while weekly camps allow children to have an experience away from home. Summer camps give kids the chance to learn independence in a safe environment, according to Peg Smith, CEO of the American Camp Association, reported by Barbara Rowley of Parenting.
A few surprise games in the cupboard, a good selection of audiobooks, and a few TV shows or video games should keep your child busy during the summer. For the weeks when you know you’ll really need a sanity hype, camp may be just the thing.
How do you cut down on child distractions while you’re trying to work from home during the summer? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Photo by Flickr user Joe Loong