Soon, school will break for the summer. Do you know what to do with your kids? Having the kids home for three months may seem like a daunting task, especially if there tends to be friction and struggle in the home. Maybe you’re a single parent and have to work this summer, leaving your kids unattended. Summer activities are a great solution to a slew of problems, and are a great idea for kids in general. According to the CDC, children that participate in physical activity have reduced stress and anxiety levels as well as higher self-esteem. This lowering in stress can make a big difference at home.
Here are some opportunities in the Orlando area to keep your kids active and safe, as well as some ways to have them give back to their community.
- The Central Florida YMCA is a great place for keeping your kids active, at an affordable price. Sign-ups for summer sports have already passed, but you can still register younger children for swim lessons. Membership is not required to enroll your child. Lessons are between $75 – $125. They also have weekly summer camp opportunities for elementary school age. In addition, there are daily activities all summer long for kids of all ages. Membership is required to participate in these, but signing a child up would only cost you about $300 for the summer. A great deal for what is provided. Visit the website to find a location near you for more information.
- The Orlando Science Center has summer camps for children from Pre-K to grade 9. According to the National Summer Learning association, spending all summer away from studies can make a big impact on a child’s academics during the school year. They are currently taking reservations online. Call the OSC at (407) 514-2000 for more information and for pricing or visit the website.
- For 7-12 graders interested in technical theatre, the Orlando Rep is doing State Fair this year for student summer stock. Tuition is $300 for technicians and interviews are the week of May 7th. Call (407) 896-7365 x219 or e-mail the Rep Youth Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Orlando Rep also does theatre camps over the summer for students wanting to learn anything from audition skills to puppetry. For more information visit the website. (I myself participated in youth summer stock when I was in high school. It was a great opportunity and I always enjoyed it!)
- Community Service is another great way to keep the kids off the couch. If the increase in interpersonal relationship skills and community awareness isn’t enough, community service is also required to recieve the Bright Futures Scholarship and is needed to graduate high school in many places. Try getting them involved with a local church or with Hands On Orlando. Habitat for Humanity also does work in Orlando. Visit the Habitat for Humanity website for more info. If your student has a gift for music, have them grab a few friends and call a retirement home near you. They love bringing in performers of all kinds and the residents love having them around.
- If all else fails, have them find a summer job. Many kids don’t enjoy getting a summer job because they feel it is a waste of time and quite often they are right. Help them find a job they will enjoy that will also benefit their resume.
These are just a few ideas to keep your kids active and safe over the summer. Boredom breeds conflict and stagnation. Having active kids will keep them from trouble, keep you from worry, and lead to a calmer home.