The following is a guest post by Kerri Zane, single mom adviser and author of It Takes All 5: A Single Moms Guide to Finding the REAL One. Enjoy!
There are still eight weeks left of summer. Are you running low on ideas to keep your kids happily occupied? Here are a few additional summer activity ideas to mix things up and make the remaining days that much more entertaining.
The number one resounding free activity that most parents hope their children will partake in over the school break is ….drum roll please…reading!
Many kids, like my daughter, find anything having to do with a book, akin to schoolwork. That was until I handed her the new Kindle Fire. She has spent hours reading, watching videos and playing games on it. I think one of her favorite features is the immersion reading feature. The text for the book is professionally-narrated giving her the ability to view highlighted words as it is voiced. There is also a feature called Whispersync. It allows the tablet to automatically synchronize bookmarks, notes and highlights, so she never loses her place or thoughts. And there is a dictionary application so she can immediately look up words she doesn’t understand. For mom it has FreeTime, so I can control what content she can access and how long she might be playing a video game on the device instead of reading! The best part, this summer Amazon is encouraging reading with The Summer Reading Sweepstakes where students, parents and teachers can enter for a chance to win 50 Kindle e-readers for their school. And check out Children’s editor, Seira Wilson’s, hand picked favorites.
Want to try another contest? Scholastic Books, the world’s largest distributor of children’s books is offering a Scholastic Summer Challenge. It’s a FREE global reading program where kids can log their reading minutes to earn cool prizes. When kids sign up, their parents can download a free ebook from Storia. Children log minutes to beat the World Record for summer reading minutes (last year, kids around the world read over 95 million minutes!). Check out the website for free resources for parents including articles and book lists. Or visit the Scholastic facebook page for articles, tips, activities, video, and a giveaway every Friday.
My favorite free reading tip this summer: check out the reading programs at your local library. The best librarycentric free activities comes out of Orlando, Florida. In addition to traditional story times, they have all kinds of interesting, entertaining and free programs. For example, TechCrew teaches older kids to learn how to build apps and videogames, mix music, design graphics, even record, edit and add special effects to movies. They also have programs with outside presenters such as a Wrangler from Gatorland, the Talako Indian Dancers and a professional animator.
Is tonight the third Thursday of the month and you and your kids have nothing to do? Drop by The Brain Store. They host a game night in all 27 US locations where guests are encouraged to play games with store staff.
July is Family Golf Month, and golf facilities all around the country along with the PGA/LPGA Professionals and United Healthcare will offer a variety of free family-friendly golf programming. July 8th through the 14th is Take Your Daughter to the Course Week. Venues will also be offering free green fees to youth accompanied by a paying adult, and many facilities offer free clinics for kids, such as Get Golf Ready. Visit PlayGolfAmerica.com for more information.
L.L.Bean is encouraging families to discover ways to enjoy the outdoors with it’s launch of the 2013 Outdoor Discovery Tour. The company’s larger-than-life Bootmobile will embark on a multi-city tour providing free instruction for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and fly casting. Check the calendar for a full monthly schedule at L.L.Bean store locations. Additionally, people can search thousands of national, state and local parks using the company’s ParkFinder tool on their website. They also offer a free Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android, makes finding a hiking trail or spot for kayaking easy while on the go.
For a free something a little closer to home to engage the little entrepreneur in your household, how about participating in the “Great American Lemonade Stand-tacular” and teach them the value of giving back with support of a good cause. For every lemonade stand photo uploaded to the Great American Stand-tacular’s Facebook page, County Time will donate $5 (up to $50,000) to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and help in the fight against childhood cancer. Download “Stand Plan,” to set up the most stellar stand in the neighborhood and learn the basics of business (“lemonomics”). For those of you super ambitious parent/child business teams, add a fun coffee twist. While kids enjoy sweet lemonade, sell the parents an International Delight Iced Coffee drink.
The best part of this free summertime activity is it keeps on giving! Country Time Lemonade has given me 10 FREE coupons and some super cool swag to raffle off. Plus my friends at International Delight have offered 40 FREE product coupons. To enter and win any of these items log onto my contact page, type free lemonade or free coffee offer (whichever you prefer) into the subject line, type your email and mailing address into the message box. Winners will be notified on July 21, 2013.
Enjoy this cool fun and FREE summer!
About It Takes All 5:
Divided into three sections, this book has five straightforward how-to’s for healing the inside, healing the outside and re-entering the world of dating as an amazingly confident woman! Then using my no-fail, 5 finger philosophy, you’ll be able to not just find “the one” but “The REAL One” for a truly authentic and renewable “REAL”ationship! The book is packed with valuable life skills, up to date research, and inspirational personal stories told by single moms from all over the country.