Sometimes the unstructured summer days can be a challenge for families, especially when children are quick to say that they are bored. 

Maggie Cowell from Steinbach Family Resource Centre says flexibility is great for the summer months, but some planning can be helpful. 

“If you plan ahead a little bit, it reduces stress for yourself and your kids,” she says. “So, a little bit of planning can sometimes go a long way. I'm not saying we can't be spontaneous but sometimes it's good to plan.” 

Cowell says it is also a good idea for children to be responsible for some of the planning. 

“Get your kids to choose some things themselves,” she says. “It's good for the kids to have their ideas. And do some of those things that the kids have chosen.”

Cowell suggests inviting children to participate in simple meal planning and preparation, perhaps for a picnic with friends.

She recognizes that summer holidays can also be an expensive time for families, and recommends doing a little research on some local options. 

"Finding some cheap and free activities is a good way to keep the kids busy and to keep yourself sane through those hot summer days,” she says, “because no one wants to hear the words ’I’m bored,’ right?” 

Cowell says there are many free activities such as visiting local parks and splash pads, reading programs at the public library, going for walks with friends, and running the sprinkler in the backyard.