5 Ideas for Keeping Kids Busy this Summer

by Melanie Edwards on June 8, 2011 · 6 comments

in Parenting

Summer Fun Photo: Dmitry Kichenko

My five year old will be starting Kindergarten this fall. She just completed pre-Kindergarten and since her preschool follows the same school calendar as the public schools, that means she has an actual summer off, just like all school-aged kids. This also means that she’ll be spending a lot of time at home and we need to figure out ways to keep her busy. She’s not the type of kid to sit still for too long, plus we don’t want her to waste away the summer and forget everything they did in pre-K this past year.

We’ve lined up a few activities for the summer that will help her keep busy, entertained, and should be fun. Here’s our plan.

5 Ways to Keep Kids Busy this Summer

Girl reading

1. Summer Reading Program

Our local library has a summer reading program for kids to keep up with their reading while out of school. They provide a reading list, a calendar for kids to mark off days they read, and a goody bag at the end of the program in exchange for a full calendar. Our library’s program is for ages 6-12, but I figure that since baby girl is reading well for her age, we can work on the books appropriate for 6 and 7 year olds. She loves to read, so this is perfect for her and will get her extra excited about the books.

Orlando Museum of Art Photo: elvissa

2. Museums

At least one of our local museums is offering free admission on Mondays throughout the summer. I need to check with some of the other museums in the area to see if they have a similar offer, but have heard this is not uncommon. A visit to a museum is great for a) getting the kids out of the house, b) expanding their minds, and c) providing conversational topics.

Finger Painting Photo: aarongilson

3. Summer Day Camps

Luckily, baby girl’s preschool is hosting a summer day camp full of activities, weekly field trips, and a review of the pre-K curriculum they just completed. We’ve enrolled her for 5 weeks of camp this summer, though the weeks are spread out. Our local YMCA is also hosting a summer day camp with field trips, as well, so that may be something you can look into.

Bowling Photo: Richard Styles

4. Free Bowling or Other Recreational Activities

You may have already heard that AMF is offering two free games of bowling per day for kids 16 and under at over 200 locations in the US. I plan to take advantage of this offer a few times throughout the summer, though baby girl hasn’t quite mastered the art of bowling. She’ll still have fun, regardless, plus it’s an indoor activity – something that’s super important here in Orlando.

Last year, I also heard that some of the movie theaters had certain days of the week where they had free movies for the kids. That’s something else that would be fun and is also indoors.

Swimming Lessons Photo: Paul Sapiano

5. Swim Lessons

Believe it or not, our girl doesn’t yet know how to swim. This summer, we plan to fix that and have enrolled her in swimming lessons at our YMCA. Depending on how she does her first two weeks, we’ll see if we enroll her in further lessons.

The weeks that we have none of the above activities planned, such as this first week off from school, we are keeping her busy with continuing to write in her pre-K journal, reading, visits to abuela’s house, workbooks, and of course, playing with the various toys she owns. It’s sure to be a fast summer and before we know it, we’ll be preparing for the first day of Kindergarten.

How do you plan to keep your kids busy this summer?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

CarissaRogers June 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Love your ideas. We are working on a master boredom buster list this year too. And the library is def on the list!

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modernmami June 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm

How cool! I love that they offer programs to help us parents out. ;)

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Anonymous June 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm

These are great tips Mel! I’m definitely going to look into the library program, didn’t know about that, and the YMCA summer days, maybe they are offering something close to us too. Because of our move, this will be my first time with the kids at home all day so I’m kind of scared… Let’s see what happens!

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modernmami June 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm

 Good luck Dariela! Hope you find some things near your new home…and congrats!

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Daily Ads July 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm

 Hahahah Nice Post, But now a days Kidz are Very Clevar they knew everything already what they have to do in summer…they took their parents with them in all the activities you said before.:D

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Duncan Faber March 3, 2013 at 11:33 pm

We have 5 kids and the secret to keep them busy is audiobooks. We make sure their ipods are always loaded with them. There’s lots of great sites out there, but we use this one a lot because all the stories are original and free. This is the link if anyone is interested. http://www.twirlygirlshop.com/stories-for-kids

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