School is out, and summer is here! And that means kids. While some kids are off to grandparents’ houses or weeks of camps, others are staying in the neighborhood and looking for something to do during these long, hot days.
We know what a valuable opportunity summer offers to engage students throughout the weeks. Here are a few ways you can spend time with kids in your neighborhood and probably even have a little fun yourself!
Beautify your neighborhood. We know service projects are most effective when the community is involved, so gather some neighborhood kids and plan a day to clean up a park or do yard work for a few elderly neighbors. Younger kids can help with picking weeds or planting, while teenagers can operate lawnmowers. Not only does this provide a way for youth to be active, but it also teaches them kindness and service for others.
Start a book club. Reading is great for kids of all ages! You can host a read aloud book club for younger kids in your neighborhood, or you can choose a YA book to discuss with teenagers. Protip: Offering a snack is a great incentive to get youth to come!
Create summer jobs for local teens. While you may not be able to make a full or part-time job, there are odds and ends you can hire out to a teenage neighbor, such as babysitting, car washing, or lawn care. Here are a few other ideas for getting help and creating income opportunities for teenagers in the summer.
Host a Craft Circle. Crafting together is a great indoor way to escape the summer heat and build stronger relationships. Depending on the ages and interests of your neighbors, consider crafts like sewing, painting, or repurposing recycled objects. Making together cultivates creativity during the summer.
Start a workout group. Invite the neighborhood youth to join you for a walking or running club. Start early in the morning before it gets too hot, or take advantage of the local gym and try a different fitness class each week. This could be especially appealing to those teens getting ready for fall sports!
Keeping kids engaged during the summer is fun and important. There are lots of creative ways it can be done. What will you do to support and engage youth in your neighborhood this summer?