Keeping your children occupied over the summer holidays!


School is out and long vacation popularly referred to by many as “Summer” (especially in colder climes) is officially here . While for some it’s a relief from the drudgery of school drop-off  and pick-up and what to pack for lunch there is the prospect of a bored child to deal with it.  The saying “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop” is one that comes to mind and illustrates the need to ensure our children are productively and positively occupied over this long holiday.

Here are a few activities that your child can engage in this holiday.

Summer Camps : These camps are literally all over town. Most private schools have summer camps for a good portion of the holiday where children are engaged in mostly extra-curricular activities. Personally I have always found camps extremely useful as your child learns something outside normal academic activities and has a ton of fun! They get to meet and interact with new children and come home exhausted and ready to hit the sack.  Look out for camps that teach coding and robotics or a Nigerian language…useful skills that will enable your child be prepared for their future.

Internships: Summer internships are especially  good for teenagers as it will help them learn useful workplace ethics such as punctuality as well as how to dress, act and speak around the work-place. It also gives them an insight into the career path to choose , for example your teen may be sure she wants to be lawyer but 2 months interning in a law firm may either solidify this choice or make her have a rethink. Your teen may not earn much or anything at all but what he will gain experience wise far outweighs any monetary gains. Infact it will be to your childs advantage if they can volunteer at an NGO and earn valuable volunteer experience, which is a plus when applying to many top notch Universities . Other advantages of an internship are that they give your teen a chance to start networking and enhance future employment opportunities. At the end of  summer you will see a  more confident and well rounded  teen.

Book Challenge : I love books! Books are so amazing as they transport your child (and you) round the world. One book in itself is a great education and can inspire so much. Endeavour to help your children grow a voracious appetite for reading by buying them loads of age appropriate books this holiday. There are stores like “School store NG” where you can  order great reading books like the “Agatha Oddly” series, fun activity books , academic books as well as  good book for your self so you can also keep yourself busy too! You may also look into starting a book challenge where your child can read a specific number of books through summer and write a short report which will earn them a prize from you. For children aged 5-8 my books are a good start for such a challenge as well as many others that can be purchased online or in bookstores.

*available at www.schoolstoreng.com

Movie Challenge : It’s a holiday after all so you can mix a book challenge with a movie challenge!  Look for age appropriate movies that will entertain as well as educate your child.  Something I really enjoy is finding classic movies  that I watched as a child and getting my children to watch them as well.  Please ensure you do your due diligence and ensure the movies your children watch are age appropriate by look at the rating as well as visiting tools such as commonsense to ensure the movies are right for your child.  Better still make time and go see the movies with the children so you can be sure of the info being downloaded into their brains.

Arts and crafts : For some children they prefer to create so allow them to express their creativity through different crafts. So encourage them by getting different  materials to encourage your budding Picasso. You never know where all their crafting will take them and when they are done they can spend good time cleaning up!

Learn to swim or other skills :  The length of time of this long holiday gives children ample time to learn how to swim. Many summers ago my two oldest learnt how to swim pretty well as I took them to a swimming instructor every day for over a month.  Swimming is a life skill and it is really important that we equip our children with this skill. Summer is also a good time to learn an instrument or vocation such as cookingbaking, sewing or whatever else your child may be interested in. There are quite a few places around the country where your child can learn any of aforementioned skills within weeks.

Be a tourist: This can either be local or global! A local tour can involve taking the children on sights and sounds around your locality. Go online and search out places of interest and take out time to visit them. You will be shocked at the lovely places your children can visit just minutes away. It you choose to go abroad then please ensure your children are not stuck between your accommodation and the mall. There is so much to see and learn so go ahead and explore!

What are your tips for keeping the children busy over summer?

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