Thankfully there are about a zillion summer camps available this summer with everything from art to soccer, swimming to English lessons. But if you still need ideas to keep the kiddos busy, we’ve come up with some ideas for summer fun.
1. Learn a new skill or sport. Ice skating, bowling, swimming or any indoor sport activity (karate, zumba, ballet, soccer, dance, etc.) Choose just one activity or sport for the kids to focus on learning well this summer. Some of these can be challenging so please make sure to wear appropriate safety gear or to have qualified instructors/coaches/lifeguards available.
2. Hire a tutor or enroll them in a class to learn an instrument or language. Summer is the best time to start as they can practice three or four times a week and get the foundation of the new information before being loaded down again in the fall with school work/activities. Check out the Kuwait Music Academy, LAPALoyac, Art Center in Shuwaikh, InstitutFrancais, TheraSpanishPlay or check our list of After School Activities for more resources.
3. Tour the playplaces. For younger kids, Play at Discovery and Promenade malls, or Future Kids, Magic Planet. For older ones, the new Trampo / Clip & Climb in Murouj. There’s also Sirbb Circuit in the evenings for go-carting.
4. Read books. Take the kids to the book shop (see our full list of bookstores and libraries in Kuwait) and let them choose books for themselves. Sign up for a reading challenge, you will need a US address) or let the kids set up their own reading challenge. Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyya is also offering weekly storytimes on Wednesdays and Saturdays and has a reading library for children.
5. Rearrange / redecorate their bedrooms or even the living room. (This will require help from an adult to move around the furniture.) You don’t have to keep it that way forever, maybe just a week or so but see what ideas they come up with. To make it educational, let them draw the room first with all the pieces of furniture and then let them work from their own drawing, taking note not only of furnishings but also decorations, curtains, windows, doorways, pathways, etc. They can get really creative and use a cardboard box, tissues, paint chips, sticky notes and other items to recreate their room the way they want to rearrange/redecorate it.
6. If possible, take them to work to spend a day with you. Plenty of offices allow a ‘work with mom or dad day’ and you can give them small tasks and things to do. It’s good for children to see what their parents do for a living and you can explain to them the idea of work, the different types of jobs there are and maybe open a discussion (depending on their age) about what they might want to do when they grow up.
7. Learn to code. There are tons of free or low cost resources online for learning to code and even summer camps here that offer it. Introduce them to the concept and see if they want to take a class – online or in a camp: https://code.org/learn
http://lightbot.com/ (Kuwait Moms Guide’s children use this on our smartphone and iPad and its both fun and educational)
8. Let the whole family learn a new skill. Push yourself and the kids out of your comfort zone by taking a class or looking online to learn a new language or skill. You can also take a class in a subject that interests the whole family.
There are heaps of great websites for lifelong learning:
9. Help an elderly neighbor or relative for the day. This could involve helping the neighbor fix stuff around their house or do the grocery shop. Preferably someone you know well and live close to.
10. Create an imaginary land, draw it and then write a story about the place/people in the land. This is a fun collaborative project for older kids. Get large poster boards and let the kids draw several worlds/sections. Don't forget the 'action' what happens in the story?
11. Organize a community game for the neighborhood kids (soccer, water balloons, etc.) This will take some organization and requires that you know a few of the people in the neighborhood or apartment building.
12. Learn to juggle. Yes I know that sounds mundane but trust me, kids can spend hours on this and its great for gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination and serious fun. Once the kids are good, hold juggling competitions and give out small prizes.
Here’s a few places to help:
13. Have a Yes Day. One of Kuwait Moms Guide’s favorite summer activities is to give the kids a ‘Yes’ Day. The rules are simple: From daylight to dusk, anything they ask, the answer is always Yes (within reason and as long as it’s not dangerous). Want chocolate cake for breakfast? Yes! Stay up late and watch cartoons? Yes! Color mom’s hair purple? Well, we can chalk it. My girls love their Yes Day and look forward to it all year long.
14. Create a comic book. This is a great one for middle school kids and they can take several days to finish it. Help them develop a basic story line and the main characters and then leave them to figure out the rest. Read a few graphic novels or comic books to them beforehand to help them understand the concept. You can download free printable comic book templates here: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/59444/comic-book-template
15. Take a yoga class as a family. A great way to introduce the kids to a lifelong healthy practice while also helping yourself get in shape.
16. Learn to craft. Knit, crochet, weave or sew and teach the kids. All three of the most common textile arts/crafts are foundationally simple techniques that children as young as six or seven can learn easily. The only supplies required are yarn, hooks and needles and (if you are weaving, a frame). There are several places in Kuwait to learn textile arts (Sadu House, Khayt Group, Fakhri Arts, Craft Center, Barakat, Needles & Yarn etc.) and literally thousands of beginning videos on YouTube for knitting, crochet and weaving including instructions for kids and lefties.
Check out these:
17. Bridge activities. It’s a good idea to keep the kids reading, writing and doing maths over the summer and you can find ‘summer bridge’ books that help kids transition up from their previous grade to one they will enter in the fall. Set aside an hour each morning (when they are fresh and less likely to be tired or cranky) and have them do some bridge work to keep their academic juices flowing.
18. Set up simple science experiments or better yet let older kids set up science experiments. Check out HooplaKidzLab or WhizKidScienceor http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/40-cool-science-experiments-webto get started. Be sure to have them print out and read through the Scientific Method (simple kids version) first and use a notebook to keep track of their experiments.
19. Take a round robin tour of the local museums. The classic car museum in Shuwaikh is a sure fire hit and its air conditioned. The local maritime museum in Kuwait City and the modern museum of art are both worth a visit (check timings during Ramadan and summer). There is also the Arab Fund building in Shuwaikh which has an incredibly beautiful interior and will amaze even younger kids. The Mirror House is a kid favorite and well worth the visit.
20. The malls of Kuwait can be a bit claustrophobic during the summer months, especially if you visit them often. Instead of going at the normal times, mix it up with an early morning marathon walk with the kids. Lace up your sneakers and walk from one end to the other. (There are lots of people who walk the malls for exercise as well as shopping and dining.)
Let them entertain themselves
Kids don’t need to be entertained the entire summer. In fact it is important to leave them to their own devices and give them a chance to combat boredom with creativity. The more they are on their own, the more likely they will come up with games and ideas and things to do that you haven’t even thought of.
Give them control over their own summer plans. Ask what they want to learn or do over the summer. Tell them to make a plan or search online for solutions of how they can achieve these goals. For younger kids that require closer supervision, ask them to choose among a selection of ideas (learning how to make pancakes, to build a fort, to learn an instrument, etc.). Help them be responsible for their own summer.