Monday, May 20, 2024

Ways to Bond With Your Kid This Summer.

March 19, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Weekly Columns

Many parents watch the approaching summer season with a bit of dread. It’s understandable, as summer often means an exchange of hectic mornings for long days of “Mom, I’m bored” and the drone of the Xbox 360. While I certainly understand your hesitation to roll out the red carpet for summer, the warm months of the year can also be a time to switch things up for your kids and yourself. Here are some suggestions for shaking off those old parent-kid roles and having fun together.

  • See Music – Whether it’s live music in the park or their favorite band in a huge stadium, concerts can make some of the fondest childhood memories. Check out the acts that will be coming to your town in the summer and get your kids’ input on what they would like to see. Childhood is an age of heightened impressionability and the excitement of the crowds and the music can help even the “coolest” or most uptight kid let loose. If you’re interested in learning more facts about the psychology of childhood years, check out the resources over at

  • Head to Camp – While it’s tempting to send little Johnny to camp for a few weeks to meet some new friends and work on his independence, why not consider heading to camp with your kids? Family camps allow mom, dad, and kids to pack up for five or six days together to learn new things in natural settings. Some camps, such as the Jean-Michael Cousteau Family Camp on Catalina Island in California focus around a particular science theme. Others, such as Concordia Language Villages in Moorhead, Minnesota, provide a language and culture immersion experience. In general, families stay in single cabins together; some have shared bathrooms. Costs range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars for three-to-seven day camps. Family camp gives you time to relax together, while putting someone else in the counselor and activity-planning position for a while.

  • Try Out a Hands-on Museum or Children’s Museum – Most museums immediately send kids into eye-rolling mode. If your kid is in the right age range, however (say tween years and younger), then kid-centric museums can provide a lot of entertainment with a little learning snuck in here and there. Hands-on museums give them something to “do” while they’re touring exhibits, and can demonstrate scientific principles in a way that holds kids’ attention. My local hands-on museum, the Exploratorium in San Francisco, has an amazing “exhibit” about optical illusions that provides neat insights into sight and perception; and, staring at the illusions keeps kids and adults alike entertained.


Budget Travel (2009)

Exploratorium (2011)

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