Trouble-Free Summer Pastimes for Youth

by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World

For the folks with children, summer can be blissful or the bane of your existence. Kids are a joy, but they can also be a pain in the butt when they have too much time on their hands with too little to do. Have no fear, however, for there are solutions that really do exist and really do work — at least they worked for me when I was growing up.

1.) School may be out, but keep your child’s mind active: I don’t know a single child — 1st grade or high school junior — who is not happy to receive a summer brain-relaxer, but that does not mean the learning has come to a halt. Any teacher or student will tell you that when school starts back, kids’ brains need rebooting after lying dormant over the summer. Your child, however, can be on top of their game. My mother kept me active in tutoring every single summer, so I could have a jump start on the academics for the upcoming school year. No, I did not feel like I was slaving away in school.  About once a week, I had a light 2 hour long lesson in math and English.

2.) Take classes at the local recreation center: Before First Lady Michelle Obama started her campaign against childhood obesity, it was already in the news about youth not getting enough excercies and even expereincing adulthood ailments. Often there are free or  budget-friendly classes offered at your local recreation center that will get your children active. Every summer, I took swimming and tennis, but I also branched out and tried other sports like racket ball. There are even some classes you can have fun taking as a family and exploring new things together.

3.) Go to the library: Don’t let your kids be decived. The library is not all boring hushes and whispers. Yes, there are story times for your really young ones, but call your local library and see what other exciting events they will have taking place. When I was a youngster, my local library brought in animal experts who not only taught about fun creepy crawly critters but also brought some along with them for kids to pet. My library also brought in scientists to do cool shows and experiments with children. All of that said, reading a good book or two never hurt a child, either. Help ensure that your children will not be the ones with embarrassing reading scores.

4.) Party at your place: The economy is pinching, people these day are crazy, and you don’t want your kids just hangin’ anywhere. Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, let them have the party at your place. It does not cost much to let your kids invite their friends over to chill. Heck, now that there’s Redbox, you can rent a movie for just a dollar. You don’t have to embarrass your kids,  though. You and your spouse can have your own movie night and more in your room while your kids and their friends do their thing in the den. With this plan, you can know your kids are safe, and they can still have a good time.

These are just a few ways to keep your kids involved in positive activities in the summer months. Yes, it is a time to have fun, but do not forget to keep their minds learning and their muscles churning.

Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.




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