How to Occupy Your Kids Over Summer

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Rebecca Harpster
Golden Gate Better Business Bureau

It’s officially summer! That means the kids are home from school for a few long months. The first week or so might have been all fun and games, but now they’re starting to get bored, and they think it’s your job to entertain them!

Summer is a great time for your kids to hone skills or learn something new. Below are some ideas that can help them get the most out of their summer break while affording you some deserved peace and quiet:

  • Send them to summer camp. Summer camps are a great way to ensure that children are entertained and supervised while parents are otherwise occupied. Kids can attend day camps, overnight camps, or even camps that last all summer. After deciding what type of camp is right for your family, make sure to do your research. Complaints BBB receives on camps range from issues with registration and problems receiving refunds to poor service. Look up the camp online, especially at, and check that they’re licensed. Understand the fees and payments, and read the contract completely before signing it.
  • Sign up for volunteering. Foster your kids’ philanthropic spirit this summer by getting involved with an organization that needs help! There’s a volunteering job for every child – from helping out at a food bank to cleaning up local parks. Depending on your child’s age and the task at hand, they may or may not need parental supervision. Having trouble choosing a non-profit? Check out, run by BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance (WGA). WGA accredits charities that meet 20 comprehensive standards. At, you can look up non-profits and find out what percent of fundraising goes to projects, how effective they are, and how much money goes to overhead and salaries.
  • Encourage entrepreneurship. It’s never too early to become an entrepreneur! Have your kids brainstorm ideas by thinking about their passions and interests and how they could be turned in to a business. Check out books on entrepreneurship and creating a business from the library. There are also a lot of great resources online. Whatever they decide to do, make sure they’re incorporating good values. A great place to start is BBB’s Standards of Trust, which include advertising honestly, telling the truth, honoring promises, embodying integrity, and more. Print them out a copy and encourage them to keep it in mind.
  • Get creative or learn a new skill. Embarking on a creative project or trying to learn a new skill can take a lot of time, but it’s incredibly rewarding. Encourage your kids to get creative and think of a big project they’d like to complete. This could be a collection of drawings, a new board game, or something entirely out of the box! They can also pick something they’ve always wanted to try and learn how to do it, like learn to sew or crochet, learn a specific type of dance, or learn to cook.
  • Set goals. Some children respond best to goals – they love to check things off their lists! Align their summer goals with things that they’ll be working on in the upcoming school year. A good goal could be to read 100 books in three months or complete one page of math problems every day. Rewarding them along the way can keep them motivated. Create goals using the SMART framework to maximize their effectiveness.

You can reach your BBB at or (510) 844-2000, or by visiting