Easy ways to make the most of your child's school vacation
Summer break is upon us, and with it comes long lazy days and beautiful star-filled nights.
For children and teens, it also offers a well-deserved break from school. However, the summer is not a break from life, and there is still lots that can be accomplished, while still being fun. After all, there is so much to life than sitting behind a desk, and summer is the time for children to experience the rest of it. Here are some ways to make the most out of this summer with your child or teenager:
Have a summer bucket list
The best way to make sure that the summer isn’t wasted is by creating a schedule. This might seem strange, since the most commonly associated stigma with summer is that it is unplanned. But this often leads to long unproductive days that dull the mind and body. Summer is the time when children and teens have space from their rigid school work to pursue their own passions, while staying active and fit. It is not for them to simply throw away and achieve absolutely nothing by the end of it. The routine should work hand in hand with a ‘Summer Bucket List’ or things they want to achieve before school begins. Using the routine, they can work toward these goals on a daily basis through small increments. Not only does this make the goals seemingly easier to achieve but it also promotes new goals.
Limit screen time
An important thing to keep in mind when creating a routine is to limit screen time. While electronic devices are essential tools to our everyday lives, it is not difficult to pass hours at a time aimlessly on video gaming consoles or cell phones. For the purpose of remaining more productive, and to benefit health, there should be limits on the amount of TV or online game time children have. This can be done in various ways; by having allotted times for gaming or having time-tracking apps on phones. Once the time is tracked, it may come as a shock to many people knowing much time they actually spend in front of a screen. According to a study by Common Sense Media, the average teen spends about nine hours on electronics everyday while children between the ages of eight to 12 spend nearly six.
This one is targeted more at teenagers. Getting involved in the community has powerful outcomes. It teaches gratitude, increases mental health, and gives one the opportunity to make an impact on important issues. There are numerous organizations or charities that are always looking for help or volunteers. Many of them allow children as young as 14 to volunteer.
Pick up a new skill
Due to school work and other commitments, children hardly get the time to grow and flourish in their personal lives during the school year. Therefore, the summer break is the best time for parents to encourage them to learn new things, like a new language or musical instrument. Summer is a perfect time to branch out and acquire valuable skills. Recreation centers, libraries and other public facilities are always a good place to look for these kinds of opportunities.
Get your 60 minutes of daily fitness
Besides staying mentally active, children and teens must also find ways to stay physically fit. Recreation centers offer a variety of activities for all ages, some even targeted at family groups. Some of them include badminton, volleyball, basketball, fencing, boxing and dance. These fun activities can not only help children become more active but they might even spark a long-term interest. Additionally, recreation centers often offer drop-ins classes, giving family members the flexibility to work around different schedules. For older teens, a gym membership could be an alternative to recreational drop-ins, as this could help promote fitness in the future as well.
According to Sandeep Gill, a teacher at Sikh Academy, summer is most importantly an opportunity for parents to nourish their relationship with their children. Despite setting goals and abiding by rules, the summer is fundamentally about having fun. It is the time, especially in younger years, for children and teens to travel, to visit, and just simply spend time with their families without any obstruction. These moments are priceless. The most important thing to implement this summer, more than anything else, is to make it memorable. Make it a summer break to remember always.