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Summertime Is Fun Time!
By Mark Todd, Ph.D.
June-July 2020

Atlantic Psychological Practice        106 Milford Street, Suite 104        Salisbury, MD 21804        (410) 543-8291

​CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2018. ATLANTIC PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTICE, P.A. SM ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

       


​As this unusual school year wraps up, summer may appear to you to be yet another impossible mountain to climb. You’ve just spent two months on lockdown with your children and may be wondering, “Now what do I do?” 


Many parents worry that their children are overdosing on mindless electronics or social media. But these activities aren’t necessarily bad. However, they need to be balanced with other activities. Here are some helpful ideas to make summer go smoother:

  • Develop a routine/schedule. Children feel better and are more cooperative when they know what is going to happen next. This can help motivate theme to finish what they are currently doing.
  • Spend time outside. A recent study found that children spend approximately four hours a week outdoors. Compare this to parents, who used to spend an average of eight hours outdoors as children. Reverse the trend! Suggest an outdoors activity every day—explore the yard, ride bikes, go for a walk or swim, start a garden, watch the sun set, gaze at the stars. Ignore any complaining. Many children resist change; however, if they regularly play outside, then they will begin to love it.  
  • Children learn best through play. In doing so, they will learn more about themselves, social relationships, and nature. Your child may initially struggle with what to play, but allow them to work it out. They will eventually create a game or activity to keep themselves entertained.
  • Have fun! Use downtime as an opportunity to blow off steam and have fun with your children—play tag or hide-and-go-seek, run through the sprinkler, or eat something messy outside. Be creative. Cook together on at least a weekly basis.
  • Schedule quiet time in the afternoon. Give your children the option of reading, playing quietly, or taking a nap. Make sure you take the opportunity for quiet time also.
  • Promote artistic expression. Obtain chalk, markers, or paint and encourage your children to create. Don’t praise the result, praise the effort and exploration. The goal isn’t for them to create a masterpiece, but to try something new. Save items from the trash to construct a trash monster or other fun creature.
  • Read for fun. Children may be shocked, but reading can be enjoyable! Let your child select books to read for pleasure. Order books online, take out from the library, or share with a friend.


Here are some websites that offer interesting activities for your children and teens.

  1. ABC Mouse (https://www.abcmouse.com/abt/homepage) offers educational activities for children 2-8. Free for the first 30 days. The program is currently available for a discounted rate. Colorful animations that are engaging, educational, and entertaining. This site has a large number of learning activities.
  2. Good Housekeeping (https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/craft-ideas/how-to/g1389/diy-kids-activities/) lists “Fifty Fun Activities for Children.” Is that enough?
  3. Education.com (https://www.education.com/summer-boost/) contains a wealth of printable worksheets, online games, guided lessons, and lesson plans for preschoolers through the 5th grade. Some are free, some you have to pay for.
  4. What about teenagers? When I first looked at this website (https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/100-fun-summer-activities-for-teens-and-tweens.html), I thought these items don’t seem too appealing, but as I continued to look I found a number of hidden gems. What teenager wouldn’t like to make a set of monster jaws. You can learn how to braid hair, fold origami, or find a free SAT practice test.​