School's out, now what?

School's out, now what?

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

The final school bell has rung and the initial joy and excitement has been replaced with the inevitable, “I’m bored.” Here are a few ideas to help keep your kids busy and your sanity in tact without reaching for the electronics:

Make chores fun.

Before turning to the electronics, have them help around the house. Need to clean out some drawers and closets? Have a fashion show to see what still fits and what can go in the donation bin. Bathrooms need scrubbing? Turn on the timer and see who finishes first. Winner picks the next fun activity.

Enlist the neighbors.

Odds are, you’re not the only one experiencing the summertime madness. Enlist the neighborhood for some fun!

• Get out the water guns and/or Nerf guns for an epic (and safe) battle!
• If you want to forgo the water, create an outdoor obstacle course à la American Ninja Warrior.
• With a little advance planning (and warning), plan a neighborhood movie night. Use a movie projector and a sheet or side of a building and pop some popcorn!

When the outdoors aren’t cooperating.

If Mother Nature decides to be a little difficult and forces you to take things inside, you may need to channel your inner Martha Stewart.

• Break out the Legos and create the next masterpiece.
• Teach your kids a few new card games or play board games that may have been collecting dust. Monopoly and Risk are bound to while away the hours and bring out the competitive streaks.
• Try out new kid-friendly recipes and see which ones pass the palate test.

Crate Boxes.

Subscription boxes have become a hot trend. There are several that are geared for kids.

• Kiwi Crate is great for hands-on crafts and projects.
• Enhance your blossoming foodie with a Kidstir crate.
• If you’re short on space (and attention), check out Spark Box, which rents cleaned and sanitized toys for littles up to the age of four.
• World travelers will appreciate Little Passports. This crate is designed to help children between 5 and 12 learn about different countries, cultures and languages.

Get scientific.

With the emphasis of STEM programs in schools, break out the science experiments with your budding scientist! You can get as complex as building a volcano, or go as simple as oil, water and dish soap. Pinterest always has great ideas and most can be done with ingredients and objects you already have on hand.

Check your local installation.

Your local installation is a great source for activities and entertainment. Base libraries often have summer reading challenges, but feel free to come up with your own. Bowling, swimming and movies are all excellent go-to choices.  If you need a few extras hours, many CYS and FSS programs offer weeklong day camps for school age and teens. Be sure to sign up soon, as these spaces fill up quickly.

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