3 ways I'm keeping my kids busy this summer
Summer break has always been a bit of a struggle for me.
I go into it wanting my kids to relax and enjoy their time off, and I usually come out of it wishing I’d done more to keep them busy. By August my boys are bickering, they’re bored, and I’m flustered.
In years past I’ve tried to alleviate the summertime dilemma by giving them work to do like chores, walking the dog, and even doing some reading and math work to keep up on their studies, and those things have proven to be helpful. But this year I’m trying something new. My husband and I have been brainstorming Bible-centered ideas for keeping our kids engaged and growing spiritually throughout the summer break. Here’s what we’re planning to try:
3 Bible-centered ideas I'm trying to keep my kids busy in summer
- Finding opportunities to serve. During their winter break, my husband and I took our boys to hand out gloves and hats to refugee children. This summer, we’d like to do more of that. We’re planning to take juice boxes and water bottles to refugees and homeless individuals, and take time to play some outdoor games with kids in need. Along with that, there are also a ton of centers and organizations to volunteer with. Either way, whether we get out and give like we have before, or sign up and serve, our kids will grow in faith.
- Prayer journaling. Rather than having our kids write just to write, my husband and I like the idea of having them pray in a journal to lift their friends, family members and even themselves up to the Lord. A few years ago I practiced prayer journaling and found that it has so many benefits, but one of the coolest parts is looking back at the end of a season to see just how much God came through. It was an awesome realization for me, and I can’t wait for my kids to share in that feeling.
- Reading to grow. It’s a great practice to keep kids reading all summer long, and I don’t just say that because my husband is a teacher. There are actually studies that show how much the simple act of reading for twenty minutes a day can help children retain knowledge. In years past, we’ve had our kids choose books, or read comics, but this year I want to encourage them to read deeper. Whether they’re opening up their Bibles or reading about faith from other sources, I want their reading to expand their minds and their spirits. Along with them, I'm planning to read through the New Testament this summer, growing in my faith as well.
The Bible is thick with activities for growing spiritually. Each page has examples of people doing great things in faith, and I want my family to be actively engaged in the same type of things. Proverbs 22:6 says that if we “Start children off on the way they should go… even when they are old they will not turn from it.” As a parent, it’s sometimes daunting to think of how to train up a child in faith, but these three things make it easier. And an added benefit about all of the activities I listed is that they can be done independently or as a family, so you too can get out there, dive deeper, and grow stronger in faith alongside your kids, and hopefully feel a lot less flustered come August.
What activities would you add to the list? Leave suggestions in the comments below.
My boys (9, 7 and 4) love audiobooks, and for Christmas we bought the CD sets from Tan Books titled “The Story of the Bible,” the Old Testament and the New Testament. They are now listening to the Old Testament for the third time. Whenever they hop into the van, their next words are “Mom, can you turn on the Bible?!”