How to Keep Kids Connected to Friends Over Summer Break

When school's out for summer, here's how to make sure your child doesn't lose touch with classmates and pals.
By Denise Maher

Ages

6-13

882830614

As the school year comes to a close, help foster the friendships your child has made through these simple ideas and activities to stay in touch and spend time together.

1. Exchange info. 

School directories are great (if you can find yours) but they usually list only one phone number. Share alternative contacts with the parents of your kid’s pals by handing out calling cards. You and your child can DIY them or order from moo.com. Or create a shared online calendar. That way, you’ll all be on the same page when it comes to scheduling meetups.

2. Book a multi-family field trip.

Get tickets with another family for an event. By locking into a specific time and place, you’ll firm up the commitment and give the kids something specific to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be fancy: A minor-league baseball game, a family-friendly walkathon for a good cause, or a local concert are all great ways for kids to have a blast together.

3. Invite friends to be pen pals.

There’s nothing like getting an old-fashioned letter or postcard. Encourage your little one to get creative: Send artwork, puzzles, or Mad Libs back and forth. Or have him create his own postcard on USPS.com. It’ll get mailed for you the next day (how easy is that?). Bonus: A child who doesn’t like to write might be more willing to think up a few captions.

4. Plan a mini class reunion.

Throw a mid-summer bash with other classmates, like a barbecue party or a picnic at a park with a great playground. Set up a four-square board on the basketball court, organize a few games like leap-frog races or musical outdoor chairs (use rocks or playground equipment), and they’ll be good for hours!

5. Host a movie night.

Daytime playdates can be tricky with camp schedules. A movie night (at home or at the theater) can be an exciting way for kids to hang — plus it’s great for younger ones who aren’t ready for a sleepover. You can even show the flick in your backyard. You’ll need a DVD projector, speakers, and a screen, but you can rent them. Don’t forget the popcorn!

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