Entertaining the kids

The summer has rolled in and for many, this means soaking up some sun and enjoying the long evenings.  For others though, it can mean two or three long months of trying to entertain bored tots and teens.

It is a fair rule of thumb that younger children have an excellent capacity to amuse themselves. Yet, the word bored is in the everyday vocabulary of teens today.

The easy option is to plant them in front of a television or maybe throw an Xbox controller into their hands but does that really benefit them?

Why not try out these ideas on how to keep your teens and maybe your tots occupied over the summer holidays…you may even find yourself enjoying them too.

1. Teach them to cook

Remember those college days when you had no idea how to cook and beans on toast was haute cuisine? There was nothing like mammy’s cooking at the end of a long and hungry week. Give your teenagers a head start on this front and teach them how to cook something simple but homely like Shepherd’s Pie. Not only will they pick up some useful, healthy eating tips but they may even cook you dinner in return.

2. Show them how you filled your summers and go back to being a child yourself

It can be hard to imagine how children get so bored when you remember your summer being filled with fun. This one will take some effort but it will be a great day out for you too. All you need is a barrel and a hill. Just hop in and get someone to push you down the hill. Afterwards, try walking on the barrel. It’s no end of fun and you can’t deny you did not do it.

3. If you can’t go camping, build a fort

It may be the summer but that doesn’t guarantee that the sun will shine. Camping is always fun but if weather does not permit, move the countryside indoors. Using any spare bedclothes and a few chairs for support, you can transform any living room into an untapped wilderness. With the younger children, pretend that the fort is a space craft and watch Star Wars in the fort.

4. Become involved in something they enjoy, even if you don’t completely approve

Experts say this and experts say that but there is nothing wrong with television or video games if they are used properly and their use monitored. Start watching a TV show that they watch, even if it is Jersey Shore. If they are more into their game consoles, then challenge them to a race.

5. Use their time off to your advantage too!

No child likes doing chores but if there was some kind of reward at the end of it then they are sure to start doing them. It doesn’t have to be money; it could be an extra half hour before bedtime or allowing them to have a sleepover with a friend. After all, it’s not bribery if both parties benefit.

The summer can be an action-packed time for children with such a huge choice of summer camps to choose from. It can be soccer this week and horse riding camp the next, but it’s also a time for parents to spend time with their children. It is becoming easier than ever to offload the clan onto someone else for a week but putting in the time and effort with your children will pay off. They will need time to themselves too, but look back on the times that your parents spent with you. They are most likely the times you remember fondly.

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