Usually it’s the kids that can’t wait for summer. Parents…not so much. It’s quite a challenge for parents of pre-school age children to maintain a balanced schedule of engaging activities for your kids and still find time to do chores, errands and schedule some “me” time.
That’s why summer camp makes so much sense. It provides your kids with a variety of pre-planned fun and engaging activities. And it offers parents the flexibility to do other important things in your life without having to plan and manage everything for your children.
That of course doesn’t mean summer time is completely “vacation” time. Sure, many camps, including the one at The Boulevard School, offer both part-time and all-day programs. But what about the rest of the day? We understand that evenings and weekends still require planning and coordination. That’s why we have several summer planning tips to offer:
One suggestion is to consider hiring a high school or college student to work part time in the evenings and/or weekends. This can be a stay at home sitter that can play games, does arts and crafts, cooks dinner, bakes cookies, puts on an animated movie (with popcorn), does bath time, and reads a story at bed time. Depending on the maturity and trust-worthiness of the student….on the weekends the “sitter” could supervise play at a local park, go to an early movie, or facilitate an activity at places like DojoBoom, Color Me Mine, the YMCA, etc. If you don’t have or know a suitable student, contact your local high school guidance department or local college Early Education or Education department for referrals to responsible young adults.
Another idea is coordinate activities with the parents of your kids’ friends whom you like and trust. The concept would be to share kid care duties so those other parents watch your kids a couple of evenings and you watch theirs on other nights. This provides the adults with opportunities to go out without the kids on weekday or weekend evenings. Again, to make it easier, pre-planning activities like those mentioned above will make it fun and less stressful for everyone.
If you must be the caregiver, here are some links to online resources you can access for activities ideas:
Movies: Consider a subscription to Disney+. You’ll have access to lots of family-oriented movies and animated entertainment for a nominal monthly cost. https://www.disneyplus.com/welcome
Reading: Scholastic Magazine offers age appropriate publications with fiction and non-fiction stories plus games. These are not only educational, they fun and interesting. Here’s a link to learn more: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/early-learning.html
Arts & Crafts: There’s so many different things to do on this website, you’ll have a hard time choosing. https://kidssteamlab.com/school-age-creative-kid-activities/ You can also visit Michael’s to find a large selection of low cost arts and crafts projects. Visit their website for ideas and store locations: https://www.michaelskids.com
Children’s Theatre: Following is a list of children’s theatre venues in Los Angeles. No doubt there’s more, but this will get you started:
Santa Monica Playhouse
1211 4th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
The Los Angeles Children’s Theatre
12420 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
2627 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Glendale Centre Theatre
324 N. Orange Street
Glendale, CA 91203
Nine O’Clock Players
Assistance League of Los Angeles Theatre for Children
1367 N. St. Andrews Place
Hollywood, CA 90028
A Faery Hunt
Griffith Park Fern Dell Entrance
2332 Fern Dell Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90068
333 Cahuenga Blvd. West
Los Angeles, CA 90068
Bob Baker Marionette Theatre
1345 W. First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026
These are just a few ideas. Think about petting zoos, local farms, childrens’ musical shows….A little time on the internet will deliver a lot of great summer activities your kids will love.