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Fun summer classes to beat boredom

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Having fun while learning

Once summer gets under way, you may find that you need a little more structure to your days than you thought you did. Dreams of carefree, schedule-free summer days may abound when there's snow on the ground, but the reality can be a little different. After a school-year's worth of structure, kids (and parents!) may feel a little lost with the suddenly open days stretching before them.

Having fun while learning

That feeling can be a little confusing. Isn't this what you were waiting for all those months? If you are feeling a little lost with the free days of early summer, signing your child up a for a class or two can help ease this unexpected transition time. It doesn't have to be intense or particularly time-consuming, but it does help you and your child put a little focus on the otherwise open summer days.

Last minute opportunity

Not expecting this need - or not quite knowing what other summer plans were - you likely didn't sign up for any classes when schedules for local programs were first announced a few months ago. That's okay. Even if many classes at the local community center are full, last minute changes in schedules for everyone mean that there's a decent chance you can squeeze your child in. And if first choice classes are still full, think of it as an opportunity for your child to try something new and different, something neither of you had thought of.

Keep it local and fun

You may also want to look for entirely new class opportunities. Look to local businesses and community organizations outside your norm. Craft stores (locally owned as well as national chains) in particular are a great place to look for kids classes. Sports organizations often offer skills development classes and, of course, there are educational classes offered through schools, though the academic topic likley is couched in more fun terms. Robotics, anyone?

Making sure whatever you choose is very local helps ensure that the class stays fun. Nothing like feeling a commute to a class is onerous to negate any fun and slight structure benefit you might have been seeking.

Keep it focused

These summer classes don't need to be long and involved. Particularly if you are just looking for a transitional class for the initial days of summer vacation, a week or even just a few days should be enough. Since this is meant to be fun and a transition, don't commit to a multiweek class unless you are really sure you need it and/or want it.

Transitions can be unexpected for many families, and you are definitely not the only parent looking for last minute class to fill a need during the summer months. Last minute classes offer the opportunity for your kids to learn something new, and for all of you to ease into this new season.

More summer activities for kids

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