School’s out for summer — what now?

The kids are out of school and they have the long lazy days of July and August ahead. They could spend their summer days in front of the TV, or your children could be using their imaginations to create projects that are a reflection of their own unique talents.

Many teens are able to handle the lack of structure present during the summer with no problem.

Unfortunately, for some teens, having more time on their hands and less supervision means they are more likely to get involved in risky behaviors and activities.

Creative thinkers know that problems have many different solutions.

They have to be willing to take risks as they learn new skills. These are important life skills that need to be encouraged in children.

Creative projects encourage children to find the resources to make what they want, rather than opening up a box that has all the supplies in one place.

Four fun creative activities:

-Put the Internet to educational use: The Internet has tons of educational websites and games for all ages children. Set aside a specific amount of time every day for few times a week for children to play on the computer.

-Plan trips to the local library: A trip to the public library not only gets children out of the house, but they will be in their comfort zone, surrounded by books. Most libraries offer free summer programs that meet once or twice a week.

-Sign up for various organized sports: Organized sports give kids interaction with their peers again, as well as physical activity.

-Arrange activity days with other parents: Talk to other parents and set up a schedule for activity days. Take turns having a small, group of children in each others homes for a few hours one a week. Plan activities the kids will enjoy.

Visit Shelbycounty-al.org for free fun summer activities at your local Shelby County Library.

Valencia Albright is the community educator and volunteer coordinator for SafeHouse of Shelby County. She can be reached at 669-1862.