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Keeping Kids in Touch over the Summer

Your kids love their classmates.  They will miss seeing them daily when school is out for the summer.  Here are some things you can do to help your kids keep in touch with their classmates over the summer.

*Set up regular play dates for the kids.  For example, you can speak with the parents of the classmates and set a day and time each week (i.e., every Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) when all the kids can meet at the neighborhood swimming pool, meet at your house to play Wii, etc.

*Enroll kids in summer sports, summer camps, or other activities.  For example, you can speak with the parents of the classmates and coordinate enrollment of all or many of the kids in a summer civic baseball league and distance education classes from a year-’round academic institution in another state.

*Allow your kids to connect with their classmates via social networking websites.  (Note:  you will want to ensure that this is age-appropriate for your kids, you educate your kids on Internet safety, and you closely supervise your kids’ online activities.)

*Allow your kids to connect with their classmates via e-mail, instant messaging, Skyping, etc.  (Note:  you will want to ensure that this is age-appropriate for your kids, you educate your kids on Internet safety, and you closely supervise your kids’ online activities.)

*Allow your kids to call and text their classmates.  (Note:  you will want to ensure that this is age-appropriate for your kids, you educate your kids on telephone and texting manners, and you closely supervisor your kids’ cellular telephone usage.)

*Allow your kids to play online multi-player games with their classmates.  (Note:  you will want to ensure that this is age-appropriate for your kids, you educate your kids on Internet safety, and you closely supervise your kids’ online activities.)

*Set up regular civic involvement dates for the kids.  For example, you can speak with the parents of the classmates and set a day and time each week (i.e., every Friday from 9:00 a.m. to noon) when all the kids can meet at a designated location to “give back” to their community.  One week, the kids may meet at a new skilled care facility to help residents moving into the new facility set up and connect their televisions, DVD players, and other technology.  The next week, the kids may meet at a community playground to re-paint (with the City’s permission) all the playground equipment.

These are but a few of the options you have for keeping your kids in touch with their classmates over the summer.  The options are many and varied . . . and they are limited only by your imagination.  May you, your kids, and their classmates have a wonderful summer together!

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