"Mom, I'm bored. I don't know what to do."
Don't you dread those words? For months, kids have been counting the days until summer vacation. The wait seemed endless. Then, barely a few days into the golden promise of months of freedom, those same kids are at a loss as to how to enjoy them. It's like finally getting a long-awaited book in the mail, only to find all the pages blank.
Welcome to summer.
But, you know, blank doesn't have to be bad. A piece of blank paper holds a world of possibilities to a creative thinker. A blank slate means a fresh start.
One of my favorite summers as a child involved a blank tape. My cousin Ron and I faced summer days like Lewis and Clark, always forging into unknown territory of our imaginations. One year, we found a reel-to-reel tape recorder with two speeds. With a little experimentation with a microphone, we discovered we could make our voices high and zippy, like Alvin and the Chipmunks. What fun we had! We spent hours — no, days — experimenting. I still remember clearly the interview we did with The World's Tiniest Man.
Many kids today find such experimenting hard to do. Why? We live in a pre-packaged world. This is especially true for kids when it comes to entertainment. Generations past have created their own fun with impromptu games, secret clubs, stories of imaginary lands. Today, all those things are a click away. Your child was born with a flexible, healthy imagination. But to keep it that way, you'll need to help him.
Summer Celebrations are here to help you.
What is the goal of these activities?
They aim to give your family simple fun that encourages creative growth in your children. The activities are built on interesting or little-known holidays and anniversaries. Some involve learning a skill, some have drawing to do, some call you to venture outdoors. Many include brainstorming. But I've tried to keep them easy to do — no gathering of art materials, no long hours of preparation — while giving them a sense of whimsy and discovery.
I hope these ideas will help your family grow closer as you all explore your creativity. Have fun! And this time, when your child asks you for something fun to do, you won't have to draw a blank. You'll draw on your family's creative energy!