It’s summer and most parents have only one question, “How do you keep kids busy?”
Kids in the South Bay area spend practically their entire nine months in school anticipating summer vacation. When summer vacation starts kids are overflowing with excitement and enjoying every minute of their time off. However, about a month into summer vacation, many kids develop Summer Childhood Boredom (SCB). SCB affects 90% of all kids. Symptoms can be serious and may include a lack of muscle control or decrease in gravity resistance resulting in slouching or inability to stand or sit upright. They may also become unable to control pitch or tone of voice resulting in a high pitched squeaky sound when speaking. If not addressed SCB could lead to Summertime Sibling Discord (SSD) which is identifiable by the sounds of “he started it.”
Summer Childhood Boredom is preventable. Especially here in the South Bay where there is so much for kids and parents to enjoy. Here are some strategies that can be used to prevent SCB in your kids.
1. Get Moving
Physical exercise is not only a way to prevent SCB, but also has super health benefits. The Center for Disease Control recommends 1 hour of physical activity a day to keep kids physically and emotionally healthy. There are many types of exercise that kids and parents can do. Hiking, biking, skating, playing sports and riding scooters are some options. The South Bay has a ton of parks that are great for these types of activities and more. The South Coast Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place to walk around and has an amazing children’s garden plus activities for the kids.
2. Take a Staycation
Use SeeSouthBay.com to make a list of places you would like to visit. Include museums, parks, events, tourist attractions and restaurants. Then, grab your cameras, maps of your local community and some water. Children love taking photos as if they were tourists. Your local visitor’s center would be a good place to start your Staycation, because they often have maps, coupons and information on local attractions.
3. Books, Books, Books
Most libraries and bookstores have summer programs for children of all ages. Kids get rewarded for reading books and participating in library programs. They also have other activities for kids to participate in such as movie nights and story times. Our local library in San Pedro has a magician every year and a game night. Stop by the Mysterious Galaxy for a combination of coffee and comic books or check your local bookstore and library for fun activities and events.
4. Splash Around
Here in beautiful, sunny, Southern California, summer and the beach are practically synonymous. The heat of summer makes splashing around in a cool pool of water hard to resist. So take hold of your surfboards, boogie boards, and board shorts and dive in! If you want to splash around while avoiding the sand or simply want a change of pace, try your local aquatic center, sprinklers or pool. Many of the parks in the South Bay have public swimming pools with a minimal admission fee.
5. Visit a Museum or Aquarium
Museums and aquariums are always fun for kids. Many have hands on exhibits and fun activities. You can check out the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and get a closer look at the local marine life or the Maritime Museum. The historic USS Iowa Battleship, which never lost a battle, is now docked for visitors in San Pedro.
6. Tell Them to Clean Their Rooms
Kids hate cleaning their rooms. Tell a kid to clean their room and all of a sudden they will find other things to do.
Do you have any tips for keeping the kids busy and yourself sane over the summer? What location in the South Bay would you recommend for staycationing?