In a few days, our school year will end and parents will be looking for activities for their children to do beyond summer camps and vacations. For many, the summer includes time at home with family, reading books, playing games, taking walks in the park and relaxing. Contrary to popular beliefs, children do not have to be constantly entertained. Even though children use the phrase, “I’m bored”, often. I wonder if they truly know what it means. The best response to hearing that phrase is , “Great! That means you get to decide what you want to do! ” Of course you want to make sure you have plenty of open-ended materials on hand including blocks, paper, tape, glue, etc.
I vividly recall a game my husband and son played called, “Power Lines”. With a large spool of twine, they wound the twine under, over, around, up high, down low every surface that would hold it. It looked like a giant asymmetrical spider web. Then with small s-hooks, toys could traverse the power lines downwards. This went on for hours. The clean-up required back tracking to re-roll the ball of twine so it would be ready for the next time to play. My younger son enjoyed cooking. Actually this started when he was not yet walking. He loved to pull out all of the pots and pans, banging, stirring, spooning, etc. Eventually this evolved into standing on a stool, assisting with putting a meal together.
These types of connections are at the very heart of childhood roots of adult happiness (see previous post about Dr. Ned Hallowell). Earlier in the year I spent individual time with each Twin Parks’ teacher asking them to recall events from childhood that helped make them the adult s/he is today. All recalled special time spent with a relative participating in daily life. Cooking with grandmother, doing errands with dad, reading with mom, etc. What happy time do you recall from your childhood that you can re-create for your child this summer? (Post and share your ideas for others to read)
Have a wonderful summer!