For many parents, the long summer months can cause their stress level to rise along with the higher temperatures. Hot and humid weather, bored kids and constant togetherness can lead to extra stress and frustration. Day camps, pool parties and playing in the backyard can break up the monotony, but when the rain falls or it’s just too hot to be outside, children need ideas and activities to fuel their creative juices indoors. To help keep parents from letting the heat get to them, Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana offers several stress busters for indoor play this summer!
Make an Activity Box—Fill the box with items that are safe, simple and don’t require supervision, which will give you some time to yourself. Washable markers, safety scissors, glue sticks, white paper plates, yard, a deck of cards, construction paper, stencils and old fashioned magazines are just some of the objects that can be included. For older children, add buttons, marbles, Mardi Gras beads and uncooked macaroni or beans.
Get All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go—Kids love to play dress-up! So this summer, give them some old clothes, hats, shoes, purses, belts, ties and costume jewelry to have, and let them be creative!
Go Camping Indoors—Let the children build a tent over portions of the furniture with sheets and blankets, using large books as weights to hold the edges in place. With the imagination set free, the sky is the limit!
Play Keep Away—Rotate your kids’ favorite toys by putting some away for a couple weeks at a time. When you bring them back out later, the children will get to experience the joy of rediscovering them all over again.
Make a Job Jar—Write down some easy things that need to be done around the house and put them in a jar. Depending on their age, let your children pick one per day (or week) that he or she can be personally responsible for completing. Doing age-appropriate chores will help build your child’s confidence and sense of responsibility.
Plan for Future Fun—Have your children plan a “Family Fun Calendar” for each month of the summer. Challenge them by allowing only ideas that are free and include everyone in the family. A few starter ideas could include visiting the library, having an indoor picnic, playing “I Spy”, taking a walk together, or making up a poem about the family.
Remember, summer is about fun; a welcome break from your child’s hard work during the school year. If you find your summer stress level getting too high, PCALs Kidline offers trained counselors who can offer helpful tips and advice that can ease your strain. Just call (800) CHILDREN (244-5373), because parenting is hard; but we can help!