School's Out - What To Do Now?
School’s out, for summer! School’s out forever!
Well, school might not actually be out forever as the 1970s Alice Cooper rock classic declared, but if you’ve grown to accustomed to your free time during the last academic year, it might feel that way during the summer months.
So what’s a parent to do now that you have to once again entertain, inspire and occupy the eager minds of a child who’s on summer vacation? How can you once again fill 24 hours and seven days a week with your child?
I’m the first to admit I don’t have the answers to every hour, but I do have novel suggestions to keep the pre-school aged child excited about what Dad has in store next!
Outside of the obvious trips to local parks and library, how about…
Day Trips. Getting out of the house is a must, but your typical “vacation” might not be a realistic option either a financial or sanity standpoint. Find a map of your community, and draw a circle around a 1-hour radius of your home. Then, identify a couple of towns you’ve never been to, or, better yet, have never heard of (believe me…if you look at a map you’ll quickly find a handful of places you’ve never heard of). Next up, google that community for its “Must Dos”, and pick a couple of things to experience with your child. It will be a new experience for both of you, and a great memory as well.
Stay Trips. Ordinary places to you will seem extraordinary to your child. Admittedly, not every community has a city zoo or a children’s museum to lean on during the summer months. But everywhere has something unique. Perhaps it’s a pizza shop that delivers drinks by a train (Pizza King), or a 1950s drive-in that delivers the food on roller skates. Maybe your community has a covered bridge, Amish buggies, a minor league baseball team, or a UFO crash site (any readers from Roswell out there?) Whatever it is, it might ordinary to you, but it will be novel to your child.
Planting vegetables. Looking for a way to excite your child about eating vegetables? How about growing some of their own? What could be easier than planting some carrots or some peas in a flower pot on the back deck? By doing so, you’ll not only be able to entertain your child on day one, but it will also be an opportunity to allow them to water their vegetables in the coming days and weeks. They grow quickly, and you’ll soon find it will be a highlight of your child’s day.
Water Park. Don’t have a water work in your community? Make your own! A baby pool and a sprinkler (along with some sunblock) is all your child needs. A rotating sprinkler head will result in non-stop laughter for you and your child, and a baby pool is a can’t miss summer pastime. If your child is an avid sports fan like mine, let them swing their golf club in the pool – similar to an explosion bunker shot in golf.
Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center, 117" X 76" X 53", for Ages 2+
Part Number: 12-57453NP
Amazon Price: $39.99
Intex Mushroom Inflatable Baby Pool, 40" X 35", for Ages 1-3
Part Number: INX57407
Amazon Price: $22.00
Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Grub Scouts Sprinkler Toy With Hose Attachment
Manufacturer: Melissa & Doug
Brand: Melissa & Doug
Part Number: 6249
Amazon Price: $16.68
DuneCraft Outdoor Garden Kit Tomato, Bush Bean and Sweet Pepper
Part Number: OK-0101
Amazon Price: $12.50