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Ah, summer vacation. Finally, after a school year of daily schedules where driving time is longer than mealtimes, my family is on break. We all enjoy the relaxed mornings. Unlike the rushed breakfasts and the morning backpack scramble during the school year, my kids and I have the time to eat at our leisure, play games and enjoy just being home. We enjoy it that is, until the dreaded words escape their little mouths: “I’m bored.”
This always amazes me. How can you be bored? You have rooms of toys, endless piles of Legos and building blocks, and shelves filled with books, puzzles, games and activities. Still, as I attempt to keep the house clean--a much more difficult task now that everyone is home all day--three little boys enter the room with their shoulders drooping and their faces blank. “Mom, there is nothing to do.”
I have been a Mom long enough to know that this is a code. They are really not bored and can’t find anything to do, they just want someone (me) to do it with. I look around my kitchen; half the delicate dishes still in the sink are covered with soapy hot water and the boys’ lunch plates are piled up high in a crooked stack. It would take me only twenty minutes to finish. Then I can cross that job off my daily list. I press my lips together as I think and catch a glimpse of the three little faces looking up at me with big, begging eyes. I put my wet towel down and the four of us head off to find a project together.
We decide to read a book about animals that live in the ocean and continue with the theme by drawing pictures and using Play-Doh to re-create what we have just read about. Everything is going fine but my now very active kids are ready for something else. They are poking each other and starting to run around the table. I also know this code. They need some physical activity to burn off some energy. In Arizona in the summer months, this is not as easy as a walk to the park.
Here are some fun summer ideas to keep your children active:
Water parks--Pros: If through the parks department, they are typically free. Cons: Find out the hours and get there early; they usually get pretty crowded.