Unplugging your kids for the summer

Unplugging your kids for the summer

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

Trying to keep the kids busy without resorting to the Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo can be a tall order. Here are four ideas to help keep those kiddos from turning into electronic zombies this summer.

1. 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.

2. 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!

3. 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 your kids’ competitive streaks.
• Try out new kid-friendly recipes and see which ones pass the palate test.

4. Explore your surroundings.

If you’ve recently arrived to Europe, welcome! Now comes the fun part of figuring out where to explore first. If you’re a little short on time or resources, there are plenty of awesome sights to explore nearby. Take a field trip to your local tickets and travel office to see what tours they’re offering. Tours can take the stress of planning and driving out of the equation, so you can just enjoy your surroundings. Start off slow with a quick day trip, or dive right in and check out the overnight excursions.

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