Kids, Summer, Pets, Play, Sports, Swimming and Guided Imagery

water-slide

Organized sports offer an excellent way to combine physical activity with camaraderie. Check out the availability of athletic activities through your school or community. Parents are also advised to look for summer camps and free programs offered through parks and libraries, and be sure to visit the website of your local YMCA.

A few years ago, I taught an all-day, six-week summer drama workshop for pre-teens. There were to be no more than 8 students and I had 15 and a waiting list of about 30. I separated them into groups and gave them assignments, so I could work one-on-one with each student on things like voice projection, blocking and auditioning. I wanted to be sure their parents got enough bang for their bucks.

What I learned was that they were not interested in acting-they just wanted something to do all summer.

Even with my fertile imagination, I had to work to keep them interested (they had been asked to leave all phones, tablets and electronic games at home). I learned that simple things that allow them to use their fertile

imaginations work best-an improvisation where they each choose a character and enter a scene, or a large, blank canvas and some crayons, colored pencils and markers.

baseball

It was great to see how their imaginations took off when they were away from electronic gadgets. This is not to say kids should not take advantage of technology once in a while, watch a movie, play a game or mellow out with some tunes, or that parents should not utilize the newest electronic learning tools. Guided imagery is a great way for kids to combine a little technology with a lot of imagination.

9658bBetty Mehling's Magic Island contains delightful imagery that helps kids, between the ages of 5 and 12, plug into their own resourcefulness to relieve stress and enhance feelings of control and well-being. It's so popular, we have included it in our Travel Pack for Kids.

Summer is also a great time to introduce kids to new ideas, like mindfulness meditation. For information on mindfulness, which can help kids develop focus and confidence, go to http://mindfulkids.wordpress.com and take a look at Thich Nhat Hanh's Pebble Meditation.

Guided imagery fits nicely into this niche. Bodhipaksa'a Mindfulness Meditation for Teens is a popular choice and we include it in our Teen Travel Pack.

Be sure to check out our audio programs for sports performance and our titles on self-confidence and learning skills, to help prepare kids for the inevitable—the end of summer and beginning of another school year.

That will come soon enough, but in the meantime, we at Health Journeys wish you a long, glorious summer.