Are your boys driving you crazy? (More than the usual crazy, I mean.)
Summer is a challenging time for many parents, especially working parents who are used to sending their kids to school all day. As a work-from-home single mom, I’m definitely aware of the challenges.
One solution is to sign your kid up for every single available activity, just so he’ll be out of the house. Trust me: I understand the attraction. I need time to work, and it’s hard to work with kids underfoot. But I also know that signing the boys up for activities they hate won’t help their development one bit. So I refuse to sign the boys up for summer school “just because,” even though, where I live, summer school is viewed by many as a cheap (and enriching) alternative to childcare.
I could let the boys watch TV or play on the computer (or their devices) all day long, but that’s not great for their development either.
So what to do?
Here are five of my top keep-’em-busy suggestions:
- Birdwatching. While none of my kids are avid bird watchers, this idea was inspired by Boy #2’s previous passion for butterflies. That kid spent two whole summers catching and categorizing butterflies, and the rest of us thoroughly enjoyed his hobby as well.
- Gardening. My boys have been gardening with their dad for years. My oldest even sold home-grown produce at our local farmer’s market for years. This year, my nine-year-old is tending his very own garden, back behind our garage.
- Building. Some parents are understandably leery about letting their boys work with tools, but few things occupy my boys’ hands and minds as well as a building project. Projects my boys have made, with scrap woods, tools and much imagination: bike ramps, shelves and a (rough) boat.
- Messy Art Party. This idea — which involves a fair amount of parental prep — is great way to get boys interested in the arts. What better way to introduce art and artists than to let your boys get dirty?
- Bowling. Have you signed up for Kids Bowl Free yet? If not, do! It’s not entirely free (you still need to spring for bowling shoes), but it’s a great option for rainy days. We’ve already gone once this summer.
What about you? What are some your favorite keep-’em-busy activities?