Where are the children?

Sarah and Daisies
Well, here it is. Summer Break! We waited so long for summer to get here, so we could get outside and feel the warm breeze on our faces, walk, listen to the birds, and so on. But when I am outside I don’t hear any children! No-one playing ball hockey, no-one riding their bikes up and down our quiet street. Where are the children? There is the distant sound of a basketball hitting the backboard now and then, but for the most part, no kids!
I can only guess they are still inside plugged into their various games and devices or hopefully lost in a great book!
I know that many children are off to summer day camp (AKA Daycare) but even on the weekends there really aren’t many folks outside. This summer so far hasn’t been too hot, the bugs in my area of the province are tolerable to light (nothing a bit of safe repellant can’t solve), but I am worried that summer will come and go without anyone noticing the seasonal changes.
So please, tell your families to get those kids outside, give them some ideas as to what to do, some of them are not used to imaginative play, it’s a novel idea to go out and think of something to do. Here are some ideas:
1. Sand Box If you don’t have a sand box in your back yard, consider the important learning that happens in the sandbox. This could be a great family project to build one, or just buy a kiddie pool and buy a couple of bags of play sand at the local hardware store. Add some containers, scoops, trucks, and whatever they collect (pine cones, sticks, stones, shells, etc.). A cover to prevent cats from using this as their toilet is always important! For more fun; add water! Recently, I’ve seen a picture of someone who used a small child’s tent for a sand box, built-in shade and it zips shut at night to keep the critters out!
2. Acting Out! Give them some old clothes and remind them of a favorite book/movie and tell them to act out the story. Wonderful conversation, social skills, literacy and some great acting can come from this activity BUT be ready to be the audience of their final performance!
3. Tents and Forts This favorite past time is probably more fun with a sheet, some clothes pegs (under $2 at the local Dollar Store) and their imagination. The fence and lawn furniture usually becomes part of the architecture but planning, building and co-operation are a big part of the activity.
4. Water fun of any kind is a MUST! Wading pools, water guns, sprinklers, buckets, float/sink experiments, water balloons, or the local splash pad (so many communities in Ontario have put these in!) Water play is not only fun, but cools you off (not everyone has A/C!) and is just a great childhood memory.
5. Reading under a tree sounds too simple but it is a wonderful way to spend some time with your family and get them back to reading. Young children love to be read to, but older children do too. It’s a great way to spend an hour; reading aloud from a long chapter book to your whole family. The book is usually better than the movie!
6. Go With Them!! they love your attention and you’ll feel better after spending some outdoor time too!
Happy Summer