How to Keep the Kids Busy this Summer

Keeping the Kids Busy this Summer
By: Mary-Ann Maloney

In a couple of weeks most children will be out of school for the summer. Are you ready? How will you keep them entertained? It's really not that hard or expensive. We have some ideas for you that we hope will keep your little ones entertained and prevent them from complaining "we're bored!"

Children are thrilled by the things we adults take for granted. For instance, we drive by construction sites every day without giving them any thought. Pull up sometime and let you child watch what's going on there. Excavators dig deep holes, bulldozers move mounds of dirt, workers put on roofs and lay brick. It really is fascinating stuff especially if you're a kid. Another thing kids love to do, watch the garbage men at work. They pull up in that big truck, hop off, quickly grab garbage cans and toss the debris into the back of the truck. If you're lucky you'll get to see them mash that trash! I know my kids get excited to see the guys pull up and love watching them work. Easy entertainment.

Other tried and true ways to entertain your child: go fishing at Capaha Park; go to the park; play hide and seek; take a hike at North Cape County Park on the new trail; visit the Conservation Center; go swimming; ride bikes; make mud pies and play tag. One child even suggested finding ants. Hey, if that's what your little one wants to do, make it an adventure. Pretend you're the great hunters in your front yard and find those ants. More than likely it won't take long.

Can't afford a big trip to the beach in Florida? Trail of Tears State Park in Cape Girardeau County has a nice little beach and swimming area. Want to see big trucks? Head to an implement dealer and just walk around the tractors. Visit a bookstore and check out the new books. Go to the library. It usually offers summer reading programs for children.

Summertime doesn't have to be stressful or expensive. You can find fun things to do everyday if you think like a child. It really doesn't take much to entertain them. Most every child loves to blow bubbles, swing and just run. They'll be learning all summer according to longtime teacher Debbie Landgraf. She says as long as your kids are involved and have their hands in things, they'll be learning. Expose your child to new things. Have a picnic at the Bollinger Mill or a local park. Take them to see the Dinosaurs at the Bollinger County Museum. If you can swing it, go to the zoo in St. Louis. It's free.

Here's hoping your summer is full of fun, laughter and good memories. Children grow up fast, enjoy them!