Weekly Summer Activities for Kids

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Start Your Summer off Right

Kids Summer Activities Reading
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For kids, summer feels like it flies by. Days filled with summer camp, outdoor playtime, play dates, and barbeques make this season in their lives abuzz with activity. But for parents, filling each long summer day with scheduled activities can feel like a full-time job, making you ask yourself: Do kids have to do something every week of summer break? Well, of course not. But if you take the first few weeks to create a summer schedule that thwarts boredom, chances are your family's summer will flow smoothly and the kids will stay on track for the inevitable return of the school year. 

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Week 1: Join a Summer Reading Program

Summer reading
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Start your summer off right by motivating your kids to keep up with their reading. The task of reading offers kids downtime after a busy weekend of camping or a long day at the beach. Plus, a kid with his nose in a book tends not to bicker with siblings, making your life easier, too. Most importantly, the habit of reading fosters a type of learning that extends beyond the classroom, keeping your kid on track for the next school year.

Most libraries—and maybe even your kids' schools—offer summer reading programs that help young readers set goals and earn rewards. Some programs meet weekly, like a club, with a scheduled activity or read-aloud. Others run contests where kids can check back into the library to receive a prize, once they've completed a book or a goal. If you have trouble finding a local program, a student-led online program might work well for your child. 

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Week 2: Have Your Kids Create a Summer Bucket List

Summer Kids Homework Activities
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Summer fun is all about being spontaneous. Kids can amuse themselves for hours with a balloon, a sandbox, or an empty paper towel roll. But similar to most things in life, having fun takes some planning (kids are clueless about the behind-the-scenes efforts of parents). 

Use time in the early summer to map out a summer bucket list for your family. Make a game out of it by having your children interview each member of the family, asking them what's on their list. Day trips, picnics, a family vacation, camping, beachgoing, and visiting an amusement park may all rank high on your family's fun meter. After your list is made, sit down with each other and map it out on your calendar. Remember, if you don't do it now, it may never happen. 

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Week 3: Plan Play Dates

Play Date
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Kids are social animals. At school, they are constantly interacting with one another. So when summer comes around and the number of kids they regularly interact with dwindles, they tend to get bored. And boredom, we know, is the enemy of any parent. If you work from home, weekly play dates at your house give kids something to look forward to. Plus, most parents find they are more productive when they have an extra child around because the distraction keeps their own kids occupied. Working parents can set up a kid swap with friends where you watch a friend's kid one day a week on your day off, and vice versa. ​

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Week 4: Enroll Your Child in a Summer Camp

Kids Activities
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It may feel like your kids are running out of things to during the first few weeks of summer. When this happens, it's time to enlist the help of a summer camp. Some camps require you to enroll during the early season, but others offer weekly drop-in days throughout the summer.  

Registering your kids for a camp one day a week (or for full weeks at a time), lends structure to their carefree days. Summer camps also allow kids the social time they need to meet new friends or reconnect with school buddies. Working an art camp, sports camp, swim camp, or academic camp into your summer calendar gives parents the freedom to work, while also providing an outlet for fun and creativity outside of the home setting.

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Week 5: Start Summer Homework

Summer Homework
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When summer is in full swing, the last thing kids want to think about is summer homework. Some schools give it and some don't. But either way, working consistently all summer prevents kids from falling into a "summer slide." Plus, a little work in the summer keeps your kids on track and can pay off big time, once their back in the classroom. For some families, summer homework keeps kids busy while parents are at work. And if your child's curriculum is rigorous and summer work is plentiful, picking away at it weekly sure beats cramming it all in right before back-to-school time.