SUMMER PRIMER FOR PARENTS: Pool hours, summer camps and ideas for how to keep your kids active and not bored out of their minds

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EDITOR'S NOTE: India Jackson is a mother of four who's been there and done that when it comes to keeping the kiddos occupied in the summer.


Summer vacation begins this weekend for Baldwin County School District students, and other local kids will be right behind.

The county government made a timely announcement today, releasing the summer hours for public swimming at the Centennial Center pool at Georgia College. The first day for public swim is next Wednesday. The cost is $2 per person, and anyone "14 and under must be accompanied by an adult."

The days and hours can re read immediately below:


Also, the Harrisburg splash pad is now back and running after a crack in the foundation. The splash pad has become an instant hit, and last weekend it was pretty packed. HERE IS THE ARTICLE that we wrote last summer during the ceremonial grand opening.

For some parents, arrangements have already been made or are in the works to helps keep kids away from the world of boredom this summer, but for other parents, they have no idea of how to keep their kids engaged and occupied for the summer. 

Whether you are a parent that is in the workforce, or a stay-at-home parent, here are some ideas that could help assist you in making sure that your kids have a summer they will remember.

Family Time is the Best Time:

  • 1. Hit the road. Go on a road trip with your kids. This is not only a good way to encourage bonding, but it’s also a good way to explore the world around you.
  • 2. Movie night is always a great night. What’s better than getting cozy with the kids, eating popcorn, and watching a good ole movie. And to make movie night even better, let the kids pick the movie
  • 3. Games, games, and more games. Have a game night. There’s so many games out there, just grab one and play. If you have some board games, great. But if you don’t have any and don’t want to purchase any, you can always make up some games. The following link has some suggestions that may help: 75 Indoor Games for Kids - Boredom Busters for All Ages (familyfuntwincities.com)
  • 4. Back yard camping is always a great way to spend time with your family. Set up a camping scene in your back yard, grab some graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate, then have a night under the stars while eating s’mores. 

Let the Academics Continue:

  • 1. The Baldwin County Board of Education Steam’s Academy will be hosting a summer program and encourages students to join. If you are interested in having your kids be a part of this program, you can reach the board of education at (478) 453-4176 for more information.
  • 2. Libraries are always fun. Go and visit the Mary Vinson Memorial Library. The library will be hosting a summer reading program to promote literacy and encourages kids to sign up. For more information, you can contact the Mary Vinson Memorial Library at (478) 452-0677.
  • 3. Museums are always interesting. Don’t feel like traveling far to visit museums? Well have no fear, because Milledgeville, GA has museums you can visit right here.

Business Skills:

  • 1. Wash some cars. Who doesn’t like a few extra dollars in their pockets? We all do. And kids do as well, so teach them how to run a business. And make it fun. Playing in water and bubbles during the summer while performing a responsibly and making money is a good way to introduce them to the world of business.
  • 2. Create a lemonade stand or bake sale. This is another way to get your kids involved in family time by making the lemonade and bakery items, while still teaching them the art of running a business.

Let’s Socialize:

  • 1. Bowling is not only a good way to spend time with your family, but it’s also a good way to socialize with your current friends, and possibly make new friends.
  • 2. Skating is not only fun, but is a form of excersie that’s good for you as well. So go out and skate or learn to skate with your friends, while making new friends.
  • 3. The Boys and Girls Club is always a good option for kids, especially for parents that may need assistance with “daycare” while they continue to work during the summer. This is a good way to keep the kids active and out of boredoms way, while the parents are still able to go to work. For more information, contact (478) 295-2660 or visit Boys & Girls Club of Baldwin and Jones Counties, Inc.'s website.
  • 4. The Baldwin County Recreational Department also has some things lined up for the summer that the kids can get involved with. Not to mention, “it’s the park.” Go to the park and have fun. Play basketball, go swimming, go on a picnic if you will. For more information on what the recreational department will be offering for the summer, you can register for an account at: Registration | Baldwin County Georgia (baldwincountyga.com)
  • 5. Georgia College & State University is always keeping kids in mind. While striving to help encourage kids to do great things with their lives, GCSU offers many summer programs that can help keep kids busy during the summer. This link gives details on what GCSU has to offer.

Chef kids:

  • 1. Cooking is always fun for kids. Whether you are backing cookies or pasta, cooking is something that, not only teaches kids how to cook, but also teaches kids the dynamics of helping prepare meals for the family. Not to mention, it might just encourage them to stay away from fast foods.
  • 2. Taco Tuesday, or maybe Pizza Friday. Let the kids decide if they want to incorporate a special day for a special meal that they are in charge of. Of course, as a parent, you may have to front the cost, but allow the kids to set the tone and prepare or purchase the meal for their family.

  • Arts and Crafts: 

    • 1. Painting and drawing are not only good stress relievers, but they are also good ways to release and explore your creative energy within. Allow your kids to express themselves on a canvas or drawing pad, and see just how far they will go.
    • 2. Build a Tree House. If you are into the outdoors and enjoy building things, this could be an exciting summer project for you and the kids.

    Environmental Exploration:

    • 1. Camping is always a good way to explore the environment. This is a perfect time to go fishing, take a hike, swim in the lakes or ponds, or maybe even search the stars.
    • 2. Gardening and planting is another good way to explore the environment and learn more about how to cultivate your own plants or crop. Something as simple as growing strawberries, to growing a particular flower, could evolve into something more overtime. This could be an excellent way of teaching your children how to grow their own foods.

    Exercise:

    • 1. Morning walks are always refreshing. Get the kids up and get your day started with a morning walk. This is another way to encourage family time while instilling healthy habits into your kids’ lives.
    • 2. Take a bike ride. Ride through the neighborhood with your kids. Just like morning walks, this is another way to instill family time while encouraging healthy and active habits.

    For most adults, work doesn’t stop once the kids are out of school for the summer. But kids should still be able to enjoy the perks their summer break. They’ve worked hard all school year, and the summer break should be a reward for their hard work. And as parents, we have the platform to give our kids these rewards. Whether you do it with the help of GCSU, the Recreational Department, the Boys and Girls Club, or if it’s something as simple as backyard camping, just do it and make it meaningful. Because one day, these kids will grow up, and one thing they will take with them for the rest of their life are their memories. So, let’s help to make sure that the memories they carry throughout life are good memories. And if you haven’t started already, let’s start with this summer.

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