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6 Ways to Engage Your Kids This Summer

By Abby Dávila, Kids Large Group Director

Summer is here! Gone are the days of sending your kids outside after breakfast and not seeing them again until dinner. We also know that day after day of sitting around in front of electronics is also not a fantastic option.

So, what is a parent to do with all this extra time with their kids? How can we create meaningful interactions with our kids without exhausting ourselves in the process?

As a parent myself who is struggling to maximize every fleeting moment with my child, I thought I would offer a few of my favorite ways to engage perpetually “bored” kids over the summer.

Think Small

What we often forget is that being present with our kids is enough. So instead of trying to plan incredible things with your kids, try doing something simple together like taking a bike ride, reading a book, playing a game of marco polo, or painting together.  

I am always pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the simple activities can be. The added bonus to simple activities is that they create an easy opening to conversation with your kids since kids tend to share more when they aren’t face-to-face with you.  

Let Your Kids Lead

Instead of trying to guess what your kids would enjoy doing, just ask them. I know, sounds obvious, but you might be surprised by your child’s choices. If you want to really get a parenting gold star: create a family summer bucket list (see page # for inspiration). Write the finalized list on a poster and cross things off as you go.

The added bonus of letting your kids lead is that you have automatic buy-in. You’ll also learn new things about your kid in the process.

Serve Together

In our age of entitlement, intentionally shifting our focus to others is incredibly important. We know that kids follow our example more than our instructions, so serving together is a great way to model putting others first.

The added bonus of serving together is that you will gain a better sense of how God uniquely wired and gifted your child so that you can better help them navigate what serving in the church could look like.

Bring Along a Friend

Studies have shown that this generations of kids is incredibly lonely, even the kids who appear to be quite connected.  They struggle with forming and maintaining deeper friendships.  So, practice makes progress!  The added bonus of inviting a friend along is that you show your kids the importance of community.

Try Something New Together

The best way to teach perseverance is to live out the of joy of learning and failing and then trying again.  My family will be trying our hand at pickleball this summer! The added bonus of trying something new is that you are ensured a good laugh at your novice efforts.

Have a Technology-Free Day

Set apart time to live in the undistracted moment. We are well aware of the troubling impact that technology has had on our kids, but we often forget that our own lives are similarly negatively impacted by it. The added bonus of ditching technology for the day is that you can foster creativity while truly being present with your kid.  
Parenting is an incredible honor and it’s so incredibly hard. When we look at our heavenly Father as an example, we see that parenting can be simplified to one simple tenet: Love your kids. As the daylight hours extend this summer, enjoy every minute of them!  Because we know that our time at home with our kids is brief but our relationship with them will last a lifetime.  
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