Summer Leadership Activities for Kids of All Ages
Me: “What do you want to do this summer?”
Boy child: “Have sleepovers and play.”
Girl child: “Have screen time!”
Me: “There might be some, but what else?”
Boy child: “Playing!”
Does this sound familiar? The interesting thing is that this is my kids’ default response; however, sometimes it takes a little shoving to actually get them out the door to play. They have great imaginations and if I give them a quick prompt, “Hey ninjas, go save that purple unicorn!” They will usually head out with bamboo sticks and scarves tied around their heads.
I won’t lie. I am in planning mode and I really want to offer some summer leadership activities for my kids because I know that once they get started, they will be into it. The key is that I must have something ready to offer. I need to have those prompts ready.
It’s easy to hit the “GO” button and hand over the screens. I won’t lie, there will be some of those days, but I want to offer my kids some choices that will promote their personal leadership skills.
Why this focus? Building leadership skills helps:
- Boost their self-esteem
- Teach them to identify their strengths and weaknesses
- Help them develop organizational skills
- Teach them to work with others
- An opportunity to learn from their mistakes
- Empowers them by allowing them to make decisions
Summer Leadership Activities for Kids of All Ages
Pet / Child care
For your little ones, get them involved in feeding, purchasing food, clean up, baths and exercise for a family pet. You can easily create a little chart. Once they reach 8 or so, let them offer up pet care services to neighbors who will be traveling or elderly neighbors who could use a little help.
We love the 10-13 age group for Mommy’s helpers during the summer. They need the experience babysitting, but might not feel comfortable being left on their own. Taking care of the kids while mom is nearby is a huge help for both. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the parents of tweens and teens to see if their kids would be interested in helping you out a day or two a week. Sometimes it is tough to find activities for this age group and they will welcome the opportunity.
For teens, babysitting can be a lucrative and fun summer job.
Start a business
Get the entrepreneurial juices flowing for your kids! Whether they want to start a lemonade stand, sell artwork or start a pet washing service, starting up a little summer business can help them get the fever for making their own decisions and earning money. Help them design their place of business, set up and promote. Have them make a little commercial that you can share with friends on your social media channels!
Home improvement project
We ALL have dozens of projects around the house that need to be done. Are there any you can hand off to your kids?
My kids want to paint their room this summer. We can do a little project management by figuring out how much paint we will need, figuring out the colors, which parts they can handle and which ones we will need to help with to make sure it is done correctly. Two summers ago, my daughter helped me paint our bathroom. She was 3 at the time and took so much pride in the corner she painted.
Have your kids create a list of projects that they think need to be done around the house. This is a GREAT skill for looking what needs to be done instead of having to be told all of the time and this is a wonderful leadership skill. Create a budget and calendar and decide what you can tackle. Giving your kids responsiblity for the condition of their home is very empowering and it also helps them decipher what they can tackle on their own and which projects will require assistance.
Let their voices sing and their feet tap away! Kids love entertaining their friends and family. Let your kids host a talent show at your house. Have them create the show, practice, decide who to invite, create invites, make a snack and perform. Keep it simple and there will be guaranteed fun for all involved.
Summer is the easiest time to help your kids help with healthy meals. Pick a day of the week where you plan for the next seven days. This is the perfect cure for picky eaters and we always like to have each person in our family responsible for a day of the week. They love to buy the food, cook and serve their family. You might be eating PBJs and orange slices one night, but you won’t be cooking!
Are you planning a road trip? This is an incredible opportunity for your kids to have leadership skills. Let them be responsible (with guidance, of course) for planning a leg of the trip. Provide them with a budget, guidebooks and other resources and you might be pleasantly surprised what they come up with!
What are your kids passionate about? Animals? The environment? Helping the elderly? Helping people in their community? Reading to younger kids? There are so many opportunities for volunteerism and so few are taken. These can last all summer or for an afternoon. The more we can get our kids aware of what is happening in their community and how they can make a difference through small actions, the more they will see themselves as vehicles for change.
Organized leadership 0pportunities
One of our favorite opportunities for leadership development is 4H. 4-H believes that every child has the potential to be a true leader, but need to be taught the life skills and given opportunities to be such. 4-H programs give young people the experiences they need to develop these skills.Their programs go beyond animal husbandry. The 4-H core programs of science, mentorship, citizenship, and healthy living cover a wide variety of programs.
How will you teach your kids leadership skills this summer?
Learn more about the Grow True Leaders Campaign here.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 4-H. The opinions and text are all mine.