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    Summer Fun: Family Activities
    Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP posted:
    Many families and children look forward to summer - sunny days, less homework, family vacations and more time to relax. But with so many summer activities available for children - camp, swim lessons, summer school, vacation time, music or sports - how do you choose summer activities and still leave your child some time to rest and recharge their batteries before the next school year begins? Before making a summer activity schedule, think about what various activities have to offer and considerations to make when choosing them for your child.

    Camp: Whether daytime only or sleep away, camp is often the highlight of many children's summer vacation. Before you send your child to camp, make sure your child is physically and emotionally ready to be away from home and excited to attend. Let your child help select the camp, depending on their interests, such as a general activity camp or a specialty camp geared towards music or sports.

    Swim Lessons: Research suggests that children ages 1 to 4 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had formal swimming instruction. Swimming is a fun summer activity and a great form of exercise for all ages. IMPORTANT: All swimming pools should be surrounded by a 4-sided pool fence, and children should be constantly supervised by an adult who knows how to swim, perform a rescue, perform CPR and call for help.

    Family Vacations: Whether your family heads to a far away destination or stays close to home, a vacation can give your family much needed time to reconnect and enjoy being together. Your travel plan may depend on the ages of your children and their interests. Remember, that a vacation should be vacation, so don't over schedule your vacation days, or you may end up feeling like you need another vacation when you get home.

    Summer School: Summer school is beneficial for all ages, and can supplement classroom subjects where your child may require a little more help, such as math or English. Summer school classes can also help prepare your child or teen for the upcoming year, or lighten their future class load.

    Staying Home: A "staycation" without specific scheduled activities is the way many families like to spend their summer. Sleeping in, spontaneous day trips, visits to the beach, a museum, library story time, or play dates with friends can be unscheduled fun for kids and parents. A reminder - don't over schedule - one of the best parts of summer is waking up and not having a plan.

    Have you started thinking about summer activities? What do your family and children have planned for summer? What are your ideas, thoughts and tips for summer activities? Share your childhood summer memories and tell what made summer special for you and your family.
    Boyzmomee responded:
    My son goes to mutliple sleep away camps. He attends a half day academic academy for the month of June. He visits his grandparents. We go camping, swimming, fishing....

    He plays on a baseball team and we are thinking of putting him in water polo prep class.

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