Summer is quickly approaching, which means that your kids will be done with school. While they look forward to the few months off, you may be wondering what to do with them. Most parents opt for summer camps and youth sports teams to help keep their kids active and entertained during the summer. But what if your child isn’t too interested in participating? Instead of forcing it upon them, which you know will just make the situation worse, consider the following six ways you can get your kids excited about summer camps and sports.
1. Know your child.
Before you decide what to do with your child during the summer, make sure you know what interests them. If your child is shy, that theater camp may not be the best idea. Be sure to really think about what could benefit your child and what would interest them before making a final decision.
2. Let them choose.
Instead of forcing your child to attend a certain camp or play a certain sport, give them a choice. Let them know that they need to participate in some type of activity, but by giving them the freedom to choose, you will pique their interest. Maybe your child who spent the last six years playing baseball now wants to try hockey. Maybe your child wants to attend a different summer camp. When you allow your child to choose what activities they’re involved in, they will be more excited.
3. Choose activities with their friends.
Chances are that your child’s friends will also be participating in activities during the summer, so sign your child up for something they can do with their peers. If your child knows someone else attending the summer camp or playing on the sports team, he or she will be more excited to join. Talk with other parents and see what their children will be doing this summer. Then, make arrangements for your child to do the same thing. You’ll find they’re more excited about it now that they have other people to talk to.
4. Take them shopping.
When your child plays sports or attends camp, they will need a lot of gear and equipment. In order to make your child more excited about their summer activities, take them shopping and allow them to choose what they want. For instance, let your soccer player choose her own cleats. Maybe opting for a fun blue will excite her more than the standard black. If your child wears glasses, consider getting them a pair of prescription sports glasses for kids. This is not only safer, but the variety of styles and colors could also excite them about playing sports. If your child is going away to camp, let them pick out a new sleeping bag. If your child has the items he or she loves, it will make their activities more fun.
5. Show your support.
Although you may want your child to attend camp or play sports because it saves you on finding a babysitter, you need to ensure you’re still supporting your child. If he or she feels like camp or sports are just a way for you to get away from them, they’ll lose interest. Instead, make sure you attend the games, stay and watch practices, and attend the family days at camp. All of this will show your child that you care about what they do during the day.
6. Get involved.
Depending on the age of your child, getting involved yourself can make the event more fun. For example, if you have a young child that’s scared to join a new team, maybe you could sign up to be a youth sports coach. This way your child gets the summer sports team experience while still having a comfort zone. If you’re not much of a coach, try to find other ways to get involved, such as being a team mom or offering to host a pizza party at your house. This will help show your child that you enjoy being a part of what they do, and it can also make them more excited to play.
Getting your child excited about summer camps and sports may be a challenge, but if you use these tips, you’ll find that their excitement will quickly grow.