Keeping my kid occupied on summer break is a full time job. We've been spending a lot of time together. A lot of time. Don't get me wrong, my daughter is awesome - she's fun, creative, smart and witty. She's also stubborn and wouldn't mind additional time spent in front of the TV watching the Wizards of Crappy Place, or whatever it's called. So, what's a parent to do? There's lots of choices:
Summer Camp - she's doing this for several weeks when I start my new job. Because I've been off for a while I didn't want to sign her up right away. It was time for father/daughter fun.
Play dates - both away and at home. these are great. I set these up with my friends and the kids get to do various things with their BFF's.
TV - ok, we touched on this one. Don't let your little one sit around all day zoning out. I mean, that was my generation. That's taken. And that's right - the computer, cell phone, iPad, and whatever else you can stare into is also part of the deal. It's fine in doses, but it's not a baby sitter.
Parks - easy one. you can even meet your friends and their kids at a park. Bring stuff. Go in the garage right now and revisit your historical outdoor purchases that you haven't seen in a while. Think of it as a really close "Play It Again Sports" store.
Camping - go. KOA's are everywhere. They're like the Starbucks of camping.
Swimming - we don't personally have a pool. But we know others that do, and there are always community pools. We have a couple 'round these parts that are pretty nice.
Road Trip - haven't seen your bro and his kids in the while? Pack your car, including the kids, and go west young man (or north, south, etc..)
Movies - ok, I ragged on the whole TV thing. But go see a movie once in a while. It's an American tradition. Get the popcorn with extra butter, and a delicious $6 snicker bar. Yummy.
Read - my daughter and I read tonight. very cool. I think there's something to this reading thing. Have them read a bit to you as well.
Draw - buy one of those huge pads of paper and dig out your colored pens, pencils, stencils, utencils...whatever makes your creative juices flow. I've noticed that I draw the same stupid sea creatures that I used to in jr high. nice.
Finally, I have to say that breaks are good. You and your kids can get sick of each other, and that's where the crankiness sets in. Make sure you give each other some space, even a few hours helps, and see how this makes the rest of your play time go.
I'm sure there's more - let me know what you do this season. Peace.
ps. For the record, I love drawing stupid sea creatures.