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Helping kids stay occupied

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Ways to keep kids busy

When kids are out of school for the summer, it can become difficult for parents to find new, interesting ways to keep them engaged and occupied. Follow these tips and suggestions to keep your children entertained.
Stay active and get creative
Family playing ball together

This summer, get creative with your kids and help them find unique things to do beyond playing video games and hanging out at the pool.

Kids are generally gung-ho for the first couple weeks of summer vacation, and then they tend to get bored and restless. Help your kids stay occupied with outdoor adventures, learning activities and fun arts and crafts.

Outdoor fun

We all know that the childhood obesity rates in America are astronomical. The best way to keep your whole family fit is to schedule regular outdoor activities together. Make it a point to get outside with your kids at least four days a week — even if it's just for a walk around the block after dinner or playing Frisbee in the backyard. Enjoy the summer weather with biking, camping, hiking, horseback riding, swimming and more. Also bring back old school backyard games like Duck Duck Goose, Hide-and-Seek, Freeze Tag and Red Rover.

Read about creative outdoor activities for the family >>

Send them to camp

You don't have to spend a fortune on overnight camp to keep your kids occupied. Instead, send your kids to day camp. The YMCA, your local parks and recreation department and other programs in your area likely offer day camps. These camps are generally very affordable, and you can send your kids for just a couple days a week — or for sporadic days throughout the summer. Also consider specialty camps including cooking camp, science camp, sports camp and more.

Explore your own city

Instead of trekking across the country for summer vacation, explore your own city. It's a great way to keep your kids occupied and also allow them to learn about the culture and history of your own area. Take trips to the local museums, cultural centers and other attractions. Don't forget that your marine parks and zoos often have special programs for kids after hours where they can get up-close and personal with the animals and take part in special events and activities.

Find outdoor activities in the city >>

Volunteer as a family

Keep your kids occupied and give back to those in need by volunteering for a charity project in your community. Volunteering is a fantastic way to instill a work ethic in your children as well as teach them about gratitude and helping the less fortunate.

Let them work

There's nothing wrong with tweens and teens working in the summertime. A part-time job will keep them engaged and occupied, help teach them responsibility and allow them to earn a little cash.

Read about how to help your kid get a summer job >>

Designate learning time

Sure school is out for the summer, but that doesn't mean that your kids should stop learning altogether. Set aside an hour or two in your schedule every day as learning time. Use this time for kids to do summer reading, refresh the skills they learned in the school year and learn new ones.

Quick tip

Learning time doesn't have to be boring. Your kids can do science experiments, learn about gardening, do word puzzles, explore a new culture and more.

More about keeping your kids occupied

The importance of play for kids
7 Ways to keep your kids active this summer
How to prevent the summer slump for kids

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