Having toddlers kind of put the kibosh on my favorite summertime activity—reading at the beach. Still, when they would eventually exhaust themselves with swimming, shell collecting, and digging to China, we could stay on the beach a little longer if I pulled out some read-aloud material.
It was the magic moment when everyone got what they wanted, with a bit of learning tucked in to boot. Sure, it wasn’t Dostoyevsky (not my beach preference anyway), but quite enjoyable all the same.
The same technique was pretty good, I soon found, for having something to do while waiting for waiters, or standing on line at the market. As they got older, though, I wanted the kids to have a little something more stimulating over the summer.
We’ve tried a lot of summer camps around here over the years. Here are some that worked pretty well:
Art in the Garden, Vinal Ave., Somerville – The best for ages 5-9
Arlington Boys and Girls Club – themed weeks have a little educational content
Arlington Center for the Arts – Drama camp was good
Major League Soccer Camps – just mornings (1 week), lots of fun
Somerville Youth Camp (at an elementary school) – only so-so (sorry)
Somerville Rec Dept, Lacrosse Camp – pretty fun for my 13 year old last summer
Museum of Science camp – always looks good, but pricey and good things fill up
So, how about you? How have you managed to keep the little synapses firing over the lazy days of summer (those of your children, that is)? I haven’t mentioned many of the full-day options, since I’m an “at-home” mom in the summer. Now, friends of ours are promoting a Spanish language program in Mexico (that’s fancy!), and it seems like a good option for a teen who barely wants to do anything (if we can get him to go). Anybody have any less radical suggestions for teens?