My cyber kiddos were home for summer vacation for less than 24 hours when the arguing began about who gets the family pc first. <sigh> Anyone else struggling with this scenario? It is definitely one of those parenting moments we all would love to just completely skip over!
No matter how tempted I was to throw my laptop at one of the kids just to have a little peace, I refrained. I have blogs to write, work to do and besides, I don’t want my kids to spend all day going from computer to TV to video game! So I like to manage their time during the summer by giving them a few options:
Internet Activities – With Time Limits
I have the kids work out who get to use the computer first. Since I use McAfee Family Protection to make their online experience age appropriate and safe, they know that they each have an allotted amount of time that they are allowed to use the computer each day.
When that time is up, they can’t use the computer again until 6am the next morning – no ifs, ands or buts! They have to manage their online time themselves. This has caused so much less arguing in my family, it is amazing.
Indoor Creative Activities
Next, I covered the dining room table with kraft paper and put out an empty can filled with pens and crayons. I also hit the dollar store for some inexpensive craft projects.
My youngest cyber daughter has been happily distracted for days with only minimal requests for computer time. She has been so enthralled by the novelty of being able to draw on the [paper on the] table, I am seriously considering covering her bedroom walls with kraft paper and letting her “decorate”!
Outdoor Physical Activities
My older cyber son will gladly take any type of sports activity, so my husband has been taking him running and they even went on a boys only trail run on their mountain bikes. All three of my “boys” came back sweaty, covered in mud and grinning from ear to ear.
Combo Option: Outdoor and Indoor Activities Using the Internet
How about a little outdoor fun that combine technology and some outdoor activity? Geocaching is modern day orienteering. You simply go to the geocaching website and register for free. Then you plug in your zipcode and find a nearby location and hints to find a hidden cache. You are given the coordinates to plug into your GPS device or the GPS on your phone. Then head out with the kiddos for a walk or hike to locate the “treasure”.
Summer here in the North is short. I want my kids to enjoy it while it is warm. (Preferably for as little money as possible so we have more money for ice cream!) What are your suggestions for distracting the kiddos in the summer months?
Stay safe out there!
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