What do you do with kids over summer?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
What do you do with kids over summer?
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 9:24am
Hi all,

I'm new here and was wondering if you enroll your children in summer camps or activities for the summer. My 7yr old had a really rough year in first grade, he's totally and completely worn out. He plays soccer, but it will be ending in a couple of weeks. I know if I don't get him involved in something I will hear the "I'm bored" start up a month after schools out. But I've enrolled him in things before like karate, he'll go a couple of times and then if he doesn't like it, that's it, money down the drain...I don't want to be dishing out all this $$$ if he won't go. When asking him if he would like to do a fun summer camp a couple times a week, he agrees but then says I don't want to do anything?? Should I push him into doing something constructive? I don't want to be dragging him to these places either...

Just wondering what you all do...


Amy -

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 12:32pm
It's hard but you have to try and find something well suited for your kid. Like my son goes every summer to a two week day camp (Just from 9am to 2pm) at a nature center. It's right up his alley/lots of walking, learning, discovering and catching crayfish.

It's well worth the money. He loves it. He does not like sports, but taking him swimming is a great outlet, whether it's a public pool, a friends' pool or the beach.

If your kid is well behaved when a friend comes over, plan to invite friends over. I know my son loves having someone over, and that helps. One mistake I made was signing him up for a pottery class (he agreed to it) last year. After the first class I knew it was a mistake. It was 2-3 hours of pottery and that was far too long for him. We got our money back on that. He just couldn't sit for that long doing one thing.

In the summer I try and make the days busy. We do trips to the park to meet other moms with kids, trips to the public library, fishing with dad, swimming, taking nature walks, etc. If it's hot and he's done a lot all morning, then sometimes he just will watch a movie and take a rest by afternoon. Depending on the day--.. My son will need to practice math facts over the summer so I will have a "treat bag" set aside to entice him to do that! (Treat is chosen after the practice time).
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 7:22pm
We had a year like that last year, so I tried to make last summer less stressful. He didn't want to play baseball, because he'd had the coach from he!! the year before, so I didn't push that. (He's playing this year and loves it.) We went to a week of Cub Scout Day Camp. I worked at the camp. He had fun, but it wasn't much of a break for me. We joined a pool, and went swimming at least a couple of times a week. We took swimming lessons, and he learned to swim. That was a boost for his trampled self-esteem. We went to the library a good bit and participated in some of their programs. I didn't want him to lose his reading skills, but he was very much turned off to reading by his teacher. So I had him read stuff that I knew would be easy for him. We watched Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone about 5 billion times.

That was about it. By the end of the summer I was SO ready for school to start, I felt guilty.

This summer we're doing a lot of similar things. Swimming lessons, cub scout camp. I'm sure we'll go to the library. I am also going to try 1 or 2 short camps (3 or 4 days, 3 or 4 hours at a time) for baseball/soccer, and possibly a short science course at our University. Hopefully, I won't be AS crazy this year as I was last year at the end of the summer. They also have week-long camp sessions (fun stuff) at their school in June. I may send them for a week.

Does Austin have a friend or buddy that would go to camp or other events with him? It might be more fun for him if someone else is there that he knows.



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 9:21pm
I've always put my DD7 in day camp for a week or two and gymnastics for another week or so. She has always whined and cried that she doesn't want to go, I insist and she ends up having fun. My parents live on a lake so we spend some time there as well, but they have a very hard time with DD after a couple of days so we can't go much this year, it's a 4 hour drive for us.

She will be 8 in a couple of days, and for the first time I am looking into residential camps. Wish me luck with that!

We don't invite many friends over as she doesn't have very many friends. We can spend a lot of time gardening, playing with the dog, and swimming in the pool (one that is 15" high and 6' wide works well for her).

We are in Toronto and get a pass for Wonderland Park, my Hubbie takes her there for a few days as well, that's when I get my rest.