A child’s summer doesn’t have to be filled with camp and organized activities. Some parents decide not to send their children to camp at all, opting instead for a relaxed, unstructured few months.
This works best for parents who can tolerate a loose schedule and follow their child’s lead, and who don’t mind a day without plans. Parents who prefer more structure or who can’t let their child stay home because of work schedules can still set aside some free summer time for the family to take it easy together.
With guidance and supervision, children can find enjoyable things to do at home or in the neighborhood. Kids can play in sprinklers, plant a garden, fly kites, play with sand, play hopscotch, draw a chalk design on the sidewalk, skate, build a fort, go to playgrounds, or ride a bicycle. Kids can play with friends, play alone, take swimming lessons, or do things with the family. They can continue recreational classes and lessons they took during the school year.
Summer is an important time for families. Schedules are often less hectic, and there are more opportunities to be together. Even if both parents work, longer daylight hours leave evenings more open. If parents have errands, they can take their child along and include time for an ice cream stop. If they have to work over the weekend, they can take him with them and let him work at something too.
While your child is home, his friends may be off at camp; this won’t be a problem if he can occupy himself. But if he gets bored or lonely, you should help him find activities to get involved in. You may also decide to compromise and send him to camp for part of the summer, letting him have the rest of the summer free.