plans to keep only kids amused this summer?.......

Katie - posted on 06/10/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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hi there!I am the mother of an 8 year old "only child"daughter!She loves the usual activities,e.g,soccer,basketball,nintendo d.s.,and wondered if you have any other suggestions?She will be doing a few summer camps,which she enjoys very much,and its great she gets the interaction with other kids.But its going to be a long summer,and I find the older she gets each year....."its embarrassing having Mom as playmate"!!When she was younger the painting we did together,etc,were a terrific way to pass the time....but now I'd be met with a "MAJOR BORING"!!!Is this simply part of the growing-up process,a new phase in her life?Holding hands when crossing the street isn't cool either,but I still insist upon that for safety reasons.She is a good and lovely child,but I do sometimes struggle in the summertime to keep her entertained......does anyone else experience this too?all suggestions greatly welcomed,thank you xxxxxx :)

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Lilian Marie - posted on 07/15/2009

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I have an 8 year old too and she also attended a couple of camps. Every summer we create a large chart on poster board with twenty or more activities. It helps her keep track of upcoming events and what she can look forward to. As we complete the activities she adds a sticker beside it. She loves to share it with friends and family nad feels so accomplished when the summer is over. It also makes a great "show and tell" when she gets bak to school. Activities might include: trip to the zoo, ride public bus, visit down town, dress up dinner, swimming, getting wet outside, playdate with ___, make icecream in a bag, backyard camp out, visit the park, ride bike etc.

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Many local libraries have summer programs set up for kids. Also try some local museums or the public pool. Does she have friends to hang out with? Some of the larger movie company chains promote a summer movie program too. Look at a website for your local community college. Sometimes they offer enrichment summer programs for school aged kids like acting/theatre or computers. Good luck!

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Violet - posted on 07/14/2009

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You said a few summer camps – depending on what you can afford, are they spaced out so you have a week or so in between. I have a very active 9 yr old son, he goes to some camps as well and my in-laws take each grandchild for one week (they have 5 total). I am also a cubscout den leader so I plan a couple of outings such as an overnight (1) camping or day trips to include my den (right now 7 boys). Further, my son’s friends and I take turns planning activities or sleepovers. It might help if her friends’ parents and you schedule an outing each, not just sleepovers, but a day of window shopping, art fair, picnics, etc. It doesn’t have to cost anything or much. Have each girl plan the outing, RSVPs and if there is a cost have them work on a small budget. Also another incentive is clean room, picking up toys, etc and other household chores before participating. Also let them know sometimes we need down time too. Best of luck and ENJOY the summer time.

Alisa - posted on 07/13/2009

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One of the best ways to entertain older kids, for more than a single afternoon, is to engage them with a project. Is there a family pet she can train (either at home or at obedience or performance classes); are there younger kids in the neighborhood she can pick books at the library for and read to or perform puppet shows for? Is there a nursing home nearby that she can create cards or craft gifts for? Local volunteer sites may have great ideas too. For example, even an young child can assist in making PB&J sandwiches for the local homeless shelter, etc. Kids often enjoy the stimulation of planning, collecting materials, and organizing a project as much as accomplishing the goal. Even simple at-home tasks that adults dread (sorting through the last 5 years of family photos, clearing and organizing an overstuffed closet, digging out and redoing a small flower bed) can be very entertaining to kids. However, remember to let the child take the lead in deciding which plants and layout, how to separate and store the photos, what type of boxes, etc. will make the closet useable. They can present drawings, or several ideas just as any landscaper/organizer might to a client. This way the parent can direct as a partner rather than a choremaster.

Christina - posted on 06/24/2009

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Try a garden or an on-going project like Legos. My son has been building a Lego fort for months (thousands of Legos). At this age, kids are doing web designs and such. You can also volunteer at a retirement home (or animal shelter or pet rescue). She could be put in charge of a fund raising event for something. If she likes school, she can volunteer with the office staff (she can staple and stuff envelopes).

Katie - posted on 06/17/2009

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Thanks everyone for their input.....some great ideas for me to reflect on,thank you all very much indeed xxxx

Suzanne - posted on 06/16/2009

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I have an 8 year old son and on days where there is no summer camp or playmates around we just go to the park and hang out and there are always tons of kids around. He usually finds someone to play with or someone he knows shows up. I also find that we have great pools in our area and we can easily spend an entire day in the pool and he is happy amusing himself. One thing that I have noticed lately is that when he is home alone he now talks to his toys.

Vicki - posted on 06/16/2009

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My town in MN has a Parks and Rec. program for kids age 6-12. On Mon, Tues, and Thursday kids can go there from 9-4 (or any portion of time in between) to play games, do crafts, put on puppet shows, or just socialize with other kids. The fee is minimal, and the program leaders are specially trained adults. Bring your own lunch and sunscreen. On Fridays they have the option of paying an additional fee to go with the group to the swimming pool.

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Hi there! I wish you luck on this one. I have a 6 year old who is already going crazy cuz mom is in a walking boot and crutches. I am really hoping to be able to make it fun for her. It bites when you are physically limited. Good Luck to you!

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