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How to keep your Katy kid occupied during their summer break

Only a few more days until the end of the school year. How long will the excitement of being off for the summer last before it dwindles into that all-too-familiar “mo-o-o-om, I’m bored” whining? A little planning ahead can yield a laundry list of boredom-busting pastimes sure to keep most kids occupied at something other than plopping in front of the TV or video game.

If your family is planning a vacation, why not add “vacation memory box” creating to the planning process. (Think shoe box here). Have each child decorate their own box however they see fit. At the end of the vacation, they can collect together all of the trinkets, postcards, photographs and other memorabilia they acquired on vacation and place them in their memory box. Have them tuck the boxes away for the next rainy day. The memory boxes can be pulled out time and again, providing them with hours of enjoyment recollecting the fun they had on that trip – long after the trip has ended.

Indoor activities might include arts and crafts around the kitchen table with modeling clay, tempera paints, paper grocery bags or whatever you have on hand that lends itself to cutting and gluing and painting. How about dress-up day – especially for the younger kids – complete with a tea party or a living room fort made from kitchen chairs and old sheets. There is always a trip to the library for story time, or just to check out books for reading late into the night – by flashlight, of course. The best part of this is it only costs the time it takes to go to the library. The books cost nothing and you get to return the books after the kids are done reading them.

There are so many outdoor games and activities, the list could go on for days.  Any kind of game involving a ball is sure to be a hit. How about 4-square, volleyball or kickball? Fun without a ball might mean getting into the swing of a hoolahoop  or flying high with a Frisbee or  kite. Better yet, how about games that involve water? When my kids were young they always liked tossing water balloons or playing squirt gun tag. One of their favorites, besides a trip to the community pool,  was playing in the sprinkler. If you’re worried about paying high water bills or concerned about water conservation (we are starting the summer with a rainfall deficit, after all) then include the kids in helping to conserve water. Let one keep track of the time they play in the sprinkler, another gets to turn the sprinkler on, and another gets to turn the sprinkler off.

I’ll be helping to take care of my granddaughter over the summer. If anyone has some other ideas, for keeping a 5 year old entertained over the summer, I’m all ears.

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