It’s the summer holidays and parents everywhere are doing their best impression of holiday park entertainment crews, in an effort to avoid hearing a phrase that seems to hit a nerve at this time of year: “I’m bored.”
Now, as a grown-up that now relies on his imagination and creativity every single day to get by, I’m actually a firm believer in the idea that creating the conditions for childhood boredom can be a good thing. That said, spending time with the kids in your life during the summer can be magical with a bit of forethought, so here are some ideas that incorporate some feel-good vibes.
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade
There are heaps of quick-and-easy recipes for lemonade behind your favourite search engine. Mix it up, make a sign or two with crayons, pens or paint. Then it’s just a question of setting up a decorating table outside and helping the kids to sell lemonade to your neighbours, friends and family. Not only are you teaching your kids a little bit of financial intelligence, by ear-marking some of your modest profits to a cause your kids have chosen, you’re reinforcing the type of positive behaviour they can be proud of.
Follow in their footsteps, get sponsored for them
Do your feet ache as much as mine after a day out with the kids at a theme park? My kids must take at least twice as many steps as me. I’m 6ft 2in and walk like an AT-AT, and they’re under half my size and their legs are a blur. Tech-savvy families up for a way to do some good while enjoying a day out could measure the differences with a combination of apps or smartwatches and a Connected Giving challenge. Having sponsorship to a beloved charity connected to the family’s total step count on a day out puts an added spring in your step between log flumes and rollercoasters and the obligatory pit stops for over-priced hotdogs and donuts.
As a kid that grew up through the console gaming revolution and now, as an enthusiastic, occasional gamer, I know how much fun can be had playing computer games with friends. In my opinion, not enough parents sit with their kids on a Saturday morning and play games with them, quite often out of the misplaced fear that video games somehow “rot brains”. Whether it’s digging out classics like Mario Kart or, dare I say it, being taught by a teenager how to play Fortnite, there are many rewarding experiences to be had, with a little willingness to engage. Just try to avoid eating a multipack of Walkers and fifteen Bourbon Creams while you’re doing it.