toddler sitting at lake

OPINION: In Defence of an Activity-Free Summer

What are your kids up to this summer? How about nothing?

Boy with birds

So your kids are off for the summer, are they?

Feeling stressed?

Perhaps you have them set up for a series of summer camps, activities and programs.

Perhaps they’re all set to spend the days visiting with Grandma, while you balance work and family responsibilities.

Regardless of what you have planned, you’re not alone. We all scramble during the lead-up to summer vacation, making sure we’ve done the responsible thing and booked our kids into a scheduled existence until they return to school in September.

Kids don’t always have to have activities scheduled. Boredom fosters creativity and imagination.

toddler sitting at lake


Because we all know that kids need structure, right?

While I’m of the philosophy that yes – indeed they do – I’ll go out on a limb and say that maybe all of this planning, scheduling and coordinating of activities is not the way to go.

When I was a kid…yes, you know the rest of this sentence. Things were different. Sure, the world was not the same as it is now, but kids haven’t changed that much. The world isn’t that much more of a scarier place than it was before. We just know more about the goings-on and scary people, thanks to Professor Google.

In spite of myself (yes, my kids are in some summer camps but have some non-scheduled time off this summer too), I know that the way things used to be has merit – lots of it. Kids need to explore to learn, they need to use their imaginations beyond the confines of day camps and scheduled activities. Sometimes it’s when nothing is planned that the most creative of ideas are born.

Head on over to Huffington Post and read my latest article about the case for an activity-free summer. You can read the whole article here.

CBC Radio Interview – Is it Okay For Kids to Have Nothing To Do in the Summer?

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