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Health & Parenting

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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

Kids 5-12 are more independent, and many of the activities that might keep them amused over the summer months might also fit for younger children if an adult lends a hand.

Journal entries. "One really cool activity is journaling," says Roth. "Older kids can write in their journal, and younger kids can draw. Parents can get an attractive journal, colorful pens and pencils, and give your kids some quiet time when they can journal on a recommended topic."

From their favorite summer vacation to their favorite school subject, kids will write and draw about anything.

"The cool thing is it can be a private thing, or it can be group -- your kids can share what they write, but leave that up to them," says Roth. "This activity helps build self-awareness, as well as writing and reading skills while they're away from school in the summer."

Scavenger hunt. "Go on a scavenger hunt," says Roth. "Get a book out of the library with different trees pictured in it and see how many you can find in your neighborhood, keeping safety first. Give small prizes with everyone winning something."

Rainy summer days. "For the rainy afternoon when it's not thundering, there are lots of outdoor activities that kids love," says Roth.

For instance, propose a science project, Roth tells WebMD: Have them predict how much rain is going to come down during the day. In the morning, put a measuring cup outside and have them track rainfall amounts -- once at noon, once at 3 p.m., and once at 5 p.m. With several kids, award prizes for who comes the closest, who has the highest guess, the lowest, and the farthest away, so everyone wins.

"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."

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