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Summer Fun for Kids

School's out, and your kids want to have some fun in the sun. How can you keep them happy and busy -- and maybe help them learn something -- all the way through August?

School Kids continued...

"If it is thundering, have the kids count in between the lightning and the thunder," says Roth.

Center stage. "For a social or emotional activity, suggest a few topics and have your kids write and then perform a play," says Roth. "The kids can work together to write it, act it out, and look for props and costumes, and then they can present the play to their parents and their aunts and uncles."

The library? In the summer? "Have older kids get a library card before school lets out in the spring, and then talk about what they enjoyed about the books they took out over the summer," says Roth.

Do your kids need incentive to even step within a mile of a library during the summer?

"Many libraries have book clubs that give kids prizes for every few books they take out," says Roth. "If your library doesn't have a book club, then you can give your kids a pizza party for every five books you talk about or read together."

Last-Minute Tips

Summer is an important opportunity for you to spend some time with your kids. Don't let that get lost because of a busy schedule.

"I would encourage parents to think about summer as an opportunity to help kids be independent, but to also do activities together," says Roth. "If kids are going to play sports, go Rollerblading, play baseball, if mom or dad helps with this the interaction is very positive for the children. Kids are more interested if the parents are involved in the activity."

And when all else fails to keep your kids happy or you've just plain run out of ideas?

If all else fails and the kids are bouncing off the walls, "have a few fun videos on hand that can keep kids amused," says Borba.

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Reviewed on June 28, 2004

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