“No more teachers, no more school, summer time will be real cool.” Yes, your kids may be feeling this way as the school year finishes up. Kids are excited to leave their books behind and look forward to a “lazy” summer of fun. Waiting for summer to come is much like waiting for Christmas; you just can’t wait until it gets here.
Keep Your Kids Busy
Now that summertime is here with longer days, what are the kids going to do? Research shows that kids who have learning projects, reading activities and group involvement activities run a much lower risk for education regression or involvement in risky behaviors. All of us want our children to be successful, productive and happy, but it won’t just happen. Parents need to provide direction for summertime activities. Making summer plans with your youth will create positive relationships and positive growth during the summer months.
There are many opportunities for youth during the summer months. Most families do plan for recreational activities, some traveling and day activities. Summer outings are excellent opportunities for families to enjoy one another. Picnics, games, sight seeing and road trips make memorable experiences that have lasting effects. Camping is considered one of the best family activities, as it encourages all family members to work together to set up the camp and the experience.
Learning activities are always encouraged for summer growth. Summer camps and youth programs offer a wide range of activities and excellent opportunities for youth and adult relationships. The world’s largest youth group is the 4-H organization. The 4-H organization is strong world wide, nationally and certainly in Utah through Utah State University Extension. All Utah counties provide strong 4-H youth program with clubs, camps, youth development and leader involvement.
However you choose to spend this summer, take the time to do some quality family activities. Families that “play” together, stay together. It’s as simple as that. Try to plan for 5-6 hours of quality time together a week and you will keep your family relationships strong. Yes, “school is done, books are put away, and it is time for family fun today.”
This article was written by Carolyn Washburn, Utah State University Family Consumer Science Professor, firstname.lastname@example.org.