The closer it gets to summertime, the more excited your kids become. They are anxious to get out of school and look forward to those lazy days when no one is rousing them at the crack of dawn to get ready to catch the bus. Unfortunately, the excitement soon wears off and within a week or two, they are bored silly. Summer vacation at the lake or your favorite theme park only lasts so long, and they are back home again complaining about having nothing to do. It’s up to you to think of weekly activities to keep them from driving you nuts. Here are some things you might consider.

1. Weekly Cookouts

Why not let the kids invite a few friends over one day a week for a cookout? Some weeks you can grill the hamburgers and hot dogs, and other weeks you can have BBQ sandwiches with the roast pork you smoked in the electric smoker you got for Christmas. If you are worried about smoked meats being carcinogenic, read the information on electricsmokercenter.com. Most doctors now agree that eating smoked meat occasionally isn’t a great cause for concern. In moderation, it should be fine and if your kids love pulled pork sandwiches on Texas toast, go for it once a month. No harm should come of it.

2. Backyard Camping

Maybe on the weekend, you plan a cookout where your kids’ friends come over to camp out in your backyard. Mom or dad would need to be out there with them, but what a fun time everyone can have. Pull out the old telescope and do a bit of star gazing or start a bonfire in your firepit and roast marshmallows. Who says you have to go to a campground to go camping?

3. Spend a Day at the Beach

If you don’t live near an ocean, there are plenty of lakes where you could go swimming. Spend a day at the lake or at the seashore and soak up some healthy rays. The thing is, just as you may be concerned over smoked meats being carcinogenic, sunlight can be as well. Both in moderation should be fine. Wear a high-value SPF sunscreen to block the damaging UV rays and then you can soak up all the sun you want.

4. Take a Trip to a Wildlife Preserve

Sometimes, the kids are simply tired of going to the zoo. Most states have several wildlife preserve centers and some even offer guided tours throughout the summer months. Not only is it fun for kids to see some amazing animals in the wild, but it’s an educational experience as well. Just don’t tell the kids you want them to learn something or they might rebel at the thought!

Your vacation away from work only lasts so long, but there are things you can do with the kids throughout the week to keep them entertained. From making one night a ‘family movie night’ to roller skating through the park, there is much you can do, and it will be time well spent. They’re only young once, so enjoy it while you can!

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