By Rebecca Ritchey //
Ahhh … the school year is almost over. This means sleeping in, fewer schedules, and some good relaxation time. We have grand plans each summer to join as many movie clubs, book clubs, and storytimes as possible. Around the month of April each year, we begin making plans with friends for the summer. It is going to be a fun-filled and lively three months! Then two weeks after school is out for the break, you hear the horror-inducing words, “Mom! I am bored!” Oh, but never fear, unlike the old Eddie Cochran song, there is a cure for the summertime blues!
It is easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of flyers being sent home from school with all the summer offerings. Try to stick to one or two things a week that you can do during the day with your children; if two things are too many, do just one thing. When signing up or making plans be realistic about how you can fill your days based on the experience of previous summers. Sometimes boredom can be caused by being too busy with the same things.
Use social media to your advantage
You can find a lot of boredom-busting ideas using social media. A web search of summer boredom busters comes up with more 300,000 suggestions, enough to fill many summer months. You also can use social media to set up summertime parties, play dates, or get-togethers. Social media is full of ideas that you might have not considered; such as going camping in the back yard, throwing an un-birthday party, making cootie catchers, and making marshmallow and toothpick buildings. If you share your boredom busters on your social media outlets, you might encourage other parents as well.
Take advantage of programs
We have amazing summer movie programs at our beaches and town greens; make a family night to go to watch a movie with your kids. Don’t forget to bring popcorn, water, snacks, and a blanket to sit on. The library has programs for all ages for summer reading; they are fun and can encourage your children to read during the summer months. Some movie theaters offer a movie program for children during the summer. Search for programs available for your children; I think you will be amazed at what you find. Take advantage of what your town or county has to offer!
Plan ahead for the summer, but leave time for spontaneity. You can make a jar of boredom-buster ideas for when the children get restless. This summer go ahead and prove that there is a cure for the summertime blues!
Ritchey is CEO of the Ritchey household, the mother of three children and wife to Jonathan. Reach her at rebeccaritchey@ ymail.com.