Although kids look forward to summer vacation, after a week or so they may start getting bored and that usually means more troublemaking. We have put together some suggestions on ways to keep kids occupied with fun activities throughout the summer.
“Kick them outside,” says one local mom. Parents can create scavenger hunts or find some printable ones ready to go on Pinterest. For younger kids, the items can be found in their own yard. Older kids may enjoy exploring their neighborhood hunting for items on their list.
Geocaching is another great way to create an adventure outdoors. According to Geocaching.com, “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.”
Explorers (and parents) can go to the web site, register, and type in their location to find geocaches nearby.
An activity for the whole family that involves art and the outdoors is searching for painted rocks and then painting rocks yourself to hide, or re-hiding the ones that have been found. There are a few Facebook groups in the area where participants can post pictures of the rocks they have found and get clues where others may be located. Silsbee TX Rock Hunt, Lumberton Rocks, Lumberton TX Rock Hunt, and Kountze TX Rock Hunt are the names a few of the local pages on Facebook. Instructions on the best ways to paint and prepare the rocks can be found on those pages.
In an effort to help prevent “summer brain drain”, the Lumberton Primary School computer lab will be open on Wednesdays for summer reading tests and math activities. Students can access accelerated reader tests, Math Facts in a Flash, Think Through Math, and iStation. AR points earned during this time will not count toward AR grades, but can count toward incentives. Students can enter in the doors by the library to access the lab.
The lab will be open on Wednesdays on the following dates and times: June 14, 1-5; June 21, 8-12; June 28, 1-5; July 5, 8-12; and July 12, 1-5.
The Lumberton Public Library offers their annual summer reading program June 5-July 8. Readers must record their reading activity on book logs and turn them in for certificates of achievement and/or t-shirts.
Library director, Lon Nickles, said the reading program has been well established for some time and was in place when he took his position over 12 years ago. He said the program has really grown in recent years, maybe 20-30 kids were involved initially, now the number is closer to 450-500 kids involved.
“What they [studies] show is that there is a phenomenon called summer reading loss. Essentially, kids who read over the summer keep their reading skills not only current, but advancing. Kids who don’t read over the summer, their skills slip, so when they go back to school they are starting off trying to catch up to where they were in the past. Whereas kids who are reading over the summer are steadily moving forward. Some of the studies have suggested that by the time a kid who does not read over the summer reaches the sixth grade, they are usually about two years behind as far as reading levels in their grade. It’s a very significant difference, which is why we work so hard to get kids involved,” said Nickles.
Special performances on Wednesdays will be held at the LISD Performing Arts Center. Attendees will be treated to performances by a blues artist and a magician as well as a physics show and exotic bird show. Movies are shown on Tuesdays in the mornings and afternoons. The complete schedule can be found at www.lumbertonpubliclibrary.org.
There are plenty of options for children who are more interested in creating art. Broken to Beautiful in Lumberton offers summer craft classes Tuesdays through Thursdays. Their class calendar can be found on their Facebook page.
Imagine Art Studio is hosting summer camps from 9:30-1:30 on these dates: June 6-9, June 20-23, June 27-30, July 11-14, July 18-21, July 25-28, August 8-11, August 15-18, and August 22-24(for three days).
Kids looking for sports training or something more focused on academics can probably find a camp right up their alley at Lamar University. The list of summer camps can be found at www.lamar.edu.
For those days when the heat is too much and everyone needs to cool off, head over to a local movie theater. Hollywood Theater in Beaumont will have one dollar movies and the Silsbee Pines Theater offers AMC Stubs members $5 admission on Tuesdays.
Vacation Bible Schools are being hosted by local churches and registration for many of those is still open and is available on their websites or by calling the churches directly.
Churches in the area offering Vacation Bible School include: Calvary North (Lumberton) - June 12, First Baptist Church, Loeb – June 12, Pinecrest Baptist Church in Silsbee, June 12, First Baptist Church of Kountze – June 19, Woodcrest Methodist Church – July 17, and First United Methodist Church of Silsbee – July 18.
For those who are hitting the open road for adventure, Scholastic has some great suggestions to make the journey more enjoyable for everyone.
For grades K–3:
Car bingo: Create a car bingo card with words, shapes, colors, and items that children will likely see during a trip (stop signs, billboards, railroad signs, etc.) to reinforce reading skills, math, and sight words.
The number game: Look out the window and call out when you see one, two, three, or four of something, and so on.
The alphabet game: One person chooses the right side of the road, and the other chooses the left. Call out objects that you see in alphabetical order (you can use a sign only for one letter). The first person to get to the letter "z" wins.
For grades 4–8:
Capital game: Take note of each license plate you see, not by state, but by state capital. The first to correctly identify 10 state capitals wins.
Cow game: One person takes the right side of the road, the other takes the left. Keep count of all the cows you see. You earn one point for each cow. When you see a cemetery out of your side of the car, you lose all your points.
Animals galore: Decide on a number of points for each animal that you see (cow = 1 point, horse = 1 point, pig = 2 points, etc.). As you drive, add up the points. Play until one person gets 10 points, or for a set time.
Math with license plates: Use the numbers on license plates to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and number patterns and see just how creative kids can get!
As summer comes to an end, these wonderful memories can be captured in a scrapbook that the whole family can make together.