Dear Crabby, How Can I Entertain My Kids This Summer?

Dear Crabby,

Every summer I brace for the chorus of “We’re bored!” from my children. But since they’ve been home the last three months with online schooling, I feel extra pressure this year. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks,
Serenity Now

Dear Serenity Now,

I have been waiting for someone to ask me this question. It seems like I get a frazzled parent such as yourself every two years or so wondering what can be done to keep the kids from becoming one with the sofa. In the past, I’ve suggested farming your kids out to relatives, looking into local activities put on by the community, and going to the pool. Well, as we discussed last week, pool time is a bit trickier this year as is, well, most things. But that still doesn’t mean you are out of options.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

Most of the ‘experts’ seem to be in agreement that if you’re going to do any type of activity, then do it in the good, old fashioned outdoors. Whether you choose to maintain social distance is up to you, but one of the activities the kids could participate in is a weekly movie. Now, I’m not talking about going to Emagine (although they do plan to open this summer) but rather using your imagination. Project a movie onto a sheet, canvas, or any flat surface and have your own drive-in movie experience. Maybe you invite a neighbor or two over. Put the kids in charge of running the show. Another outdoor activity is biking or hiking. Michigan is home to many wonderful trails. Take the Paint Creek Trail for instance. It goes through Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Orion Township, and the Village of Lake Orion. You could do the activity as a family or shoo the kids out for an hour or two. That should tucker them out. And of course, The Rochester Hills Public Library has a bunch of online/virtual activities and reading clubs to keep your kids occupied. I’m sure their website or Facebook page has all the details.

If your kids are competitive, you could turn your backyard into an obstacle course with the American Ninja Warrior Competition kit. Or seeing as we’re heading back out into space again, it might be time to brush up on astronomy with a telescope or indoor planetarium projector. There are all sorts of kits available to build or make something. Seriously. Just search Amazon and you’re sure to find something that appeals to your rug rats. Now, I know parents usually like to limit the amount of screen time, especially in the summer, but with most day and sleepaway camps canceled this year, you might want to take a look at online options.

I stumbled upon Camp KiwiCo. Apparently they offer something for ankle-biters all the way up to your hard-to-impress teenagers. There are themed camp weeks (free) and maker crate options (paid) and it all kicks off on June 22, so don’t wait too long if you want to check it out. Subscription boxes also seem to be popular. So, get on the Google and see what you can find to keep your kids’ minds and hands busy this summer. But remember, summer isn’t a sprint, so pace yourself and make sure you find time to relax as well. If 2020 has taught us anything so far, it’s that we tend to move at a neck-break speed most of the time. Before you know it, summer with the kids will be over. Then you blink and they’re grown up and have moved on. Best to try and make memories with them while you still can.

OK. Enough of the sappy stuff. Get going on enjoying your summer and don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

Dear Crabby

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at DearCrabby@rochestermedia.com.

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