Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 14/06/2013. Tags: Parenting Parenting Kids
The thought of not having to go to school for a number of weeks is something that is sure to appeal to most young people in Ireland - yet the summer school holidays
represent a time when all of the family can enjoy themselves - not just the kids!
There are lots of ways to keep the children occupied during this break, regardless of whether or not the parents are available to get involved too.
Many mums and dads may find they are unable to take extended time off work to look after their little ones for the duration of the summer holidays, which is why summer camps can be such a good idea.
For parents who do have the time, the summer holiday represents a great opportunity for them to spend some quality time with their little ones on a family break. There are lots of places to head to in Ireland that are both fun and educational. Likewise, Irish parents looking to take the kids for a family day out also have plenty of options to choose from.
Summer CampsSummer Camps
provide kids with a chance to enjoy new experiences and learn new skills in a fun environment. What's more, a camp can be a great place for children to make new friends. Camps are often based on particular interests, including sport, performing arts, computers and outdoor adventure.
Annemarie Wade from Schooldays.ie advises parents to look at the Schooldays.ie website
where they will find details of camps happening all around the country. Ms Wade says: "With such a diverse range of camps on offer, with everything from cookery, to performing arts, sports, movie-making, make-up, photography, science and lots of multi-activity camps, there is something out there to suit every child."
Ms Wade highlights that many camp providers also offer early morning drop-offs and late afternoon collection to facilitate working parents.
Parents of teenagers face a different dilemma when faced with the long summer holidays - should they send their teen to a summer camp, or are they are old - and mature - enough to be allowed to stay at home by themselves? Whilst you may trust your teenager, things can get out of hand easily, and situations can develop which were never planned or intended.
Ms Wade advises that there are lots of Teen camps
options available this year and that some camp organisers even taken into account the teenage preference to sleep-in in the mornings and schedule the camps to start after lunch to allow campers to have a lie-in during the mornings! Camp options for teens include everything from science to film making, beauty camps, language skills and lots of traditional sports camps.
There are also some great opportunities for teenagers to improve their computer skills
. For example, FizGig camps are offering teenagers the opportunity to learn more about gaming software this summer. The company providing the camps noted that Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Burton recently highlighted this area as one that is showing plenty of promise with regard to employment prospects. FizGig Camp organisers say that while "lots of parents struggle to get their teens off computer games and engaged in something constructive. But maybe new thinking is needed. If students are really passionate about gaming, it's an area they could build a career in".
Should parents have the time and money to do so, taking the kids on a family break
can be a great way to spend time together and to explore different parts of the country.
Ireland is home to many locations that are ideal for families looking to get away during the summer, with hotels and holiday villages focussed on providing family friendly facilities.
Family breaks in Ireland are a lot less expensive than jetting off to foreign climates - and many family break deals include packages for activities the kids are sure to love, such as a trip to the zoo or wildlife sanctuary and swimming facilities.
Fun activities for the family
Even if you can't take the famly away for a week or two, there is lots of fun to be had in sharing family days out. Family fun days
are brilliant for getting the whole family fully immersed in an activity for a day - and there is plenty of choice when it comes to the different pursuits to be enjoyed, including indoor and outdoor activity centres, museums, farms, stately homes, castles and cathedrals.
If you want to remain a bit closer to home, families can have fun together by bike riding, heading out on a long walk, visiting the park or making use of the local swimming baths. There are lots of inexpensive or free days out
to enjoy with the family.