Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Summer Break

Spring break is hitting most areas during the next several weeks.  Does the economy dictate that you stay closer to home this year?  Aren't quite sure what to do to keep the kids happy?  Maybe you are a working parent and just can't get any time off of work.  Your not alone.  Due to rising fuel costs the number of travelers this spring is expected to decrease.

If you are a working parent promote a neighborhood club of other working parents.  Develop a schedule based on every ones available days off and take turns finding activities to keep the little ones entertained.  Three things to remember, do not overwhelm any one with too many participants at one time.  Second, be prepared to take
full responsibility for your share.  Backing out when its your turn will not look reasonable. Last, be sure to keep all parents informed of any planned programs and encourage honest feedback.

Communities across the US offer special discounts and activities for families during this time of year.  Check your local science or health museum for free or reduced admission.  A schedule of special tours will be listed on the museums web site.  Be sure to pick locations that won't appear to be an extension of the learning process.  This is intended to be a vacation from any educational exercise, but the kids don't need to know that.  Art museums schedule fun and free creative activities for different age groups.

Take the kids on a scavenger hunt that will help the environment and charity.  Grab some bags and plenty of gloves and scour the landscape for discarded cans for a day.  Visit parks and frequently visited public places such as a local lake.  Make a game of the day offering a small prize for the one who can grab the most.  After a day of collecting deposit the cans at a local recycling center for cash.  Encourage your troupe to donate the proceeds to a local food bank.

If your weather cooperates grab a car full of outdoor fun.  Pack some sandwiches with beverages and head to a local park.  Get a game of softball or dodge ball going.  Once everyone has run out of steam spread a nice picnic out for everyone to enjoy.  Weather isn't cooperating?  Ask each parent to send their child's favorite board game to share.  Everyone will have the challenge of mastering a new game.  This is my favorite activity because I love to watch everyone learning and laughing at the same time.

Encourage a neighborhood garage sale during spring break.  Imagine all of the enthusiastic extra help you will have.  Rally everyone to contribute there own items and color code them for tracking.  Motivate the participants by allowing them to keep there own proceeds and set a goal.  Ask  your sellers to contribute a list of what they would do with any money they will make.  Every goal must have parental approval, or course.

If you run out of creative ideas to keep the broad from getting restless enlist their help.  Have everyone write down what they would like to do, as long as it is cost effective.  Place the activities in a hat and draw a choice.  Allow everyone to vote weather or not they feel the activity would be fun.

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