It’s official, we are on summer break. Although our text books are set aside, learning does not stop. We’re brainstorming some fun summer projects.
We actually finished our school year a couple of weeks ago. That’s about how long it takes for my kids to rest, recharge, and begin complaining they are bored. Boredom is a catalyst for a child’s creativity.
Parents should not have to entertain their kids every waking moment. It’s great to have some planned activities and outings, but there should be plenty of boredom in a child’s day. When kids are allowed to get bored, their imaginations kick in and they get creative.
Summer projects are a fun way for kids to express their creativity. As soon as my children were old enough to take on a project, I encouraged them to pursue something of interest. They begin by making a bucket list of ideas, and choose at least one project to accomplish.
Summer project ideas:
- Make a craft each week – Tie-dye t-shirts, clay art, string art, pressed flower art, and more.
- Learn to Sew
- Raise chickens
- Build a go-cart
- Learn to play a musical instrument
- Make handcrafts to enter into a local county fair
- Join a club
- Bake one new dessert each week
- Get a pet
- Plant a garden or start a container garden
- Write a book or series of short stories
- Write a play – Get siblings and friends to help perform it.
- Make a movie using stop motion animation
- Create a welcoming bird environment in your yard
- Start a business
- Participate in a summer reading challenge
Offer suggestions when kids cannot decide on a summer project, or if their ideas are not achievable. Consider their interests and abilities. If they like to build things, suggest building a birdhouse, dog house, or fort.
Whatever a child creates does not have to be perfect. In fact it’s okay if they jump in without direction and completely fail. Celebrate failures. If kids are afraid to fail, they will stop trying. Encourage them to try again, and point them to resources to help them succeed.
Every hour of summer boredom will not be filled with a single project, but it may encourage them to consider other creative possibilities. When my kids were younger they began making crafts and entering exhibits in our county fair. Joining 4H was their project the first summer they raised market lambs. As they are getting older, they continue to raise lambs and make crafts while working on new tasks.
This year one of my teens is building a duck pond. It will be more involved than digging a hole for the stock tank dad was willing to purchase.
My daughter is adding a lamb to our farm that is a dairy breed. A commitment that will last far longer than a single summer and provide opportunities for additional lessons in ways to use sheep milk.
Learning should not stop during summer break. An age-appropriate venture is a great way for kids to learn while having fun. Encouraging my kids toward a summer project has been an amazing tool to kick-start their creativity. What are your kids planning to do this summer?