Summer Activities for Kids in Lincoln, NE – 2018
Summer break is quickly approaching, and by the end of May, kids of all ages will be enjoying their few sweet, sweet months of freedom from the classroom and rigorous school-year schedules. While the summertime is generally a laid back, relaxing and magical time to just be a kid, there’s a wide array of options that offer an experience meeting that criteria but also incorporating learning, exploration, exposure to new things, socialization, creating, and more at the same time.
It’s important for parents/guardians to encourage involvement in activities during this downtime for a variety of reasons. Above all, kids benefit greatly from maintaining some form of structure in their lives. Also, since we live in a time when it’s all too common for kids to have a screen in front of their faces, summer presents an opportune time to unplug and experience a life of fun and adventure, and exposure to new things.
Then there’s the now well-documented phenomenon called the “summer slide,” or the learning loss that occurs over the summer months. Research from Johns Hopkins National Center for Summer Learning has shown that children can lose two months of grade-level equivalency in reading and over two and a half months in math. Moreover, according to the National Summer Learning Association, educators typically spend four to six weeks in the fall getting students back to where they were at the end of the previous academic year.
With no shortage of excellent options, selecting something that fits well with a child’s individual interests and needs while also coordinating well within a family’s busy schedule is entirely possible.
Jennifer Davis-Korn with 48 Bowl, Inc. offers a few suggestions that involve, you guessed it, bowling!
“Summer is the perfect time to introduce the young person in your life to the sport of bowling. At 48 Bowl, Inc. (Parkway Lanes and Hollywood Bowl) we offer an easy, affordable way for you to do that with our Kids Bowl Free program.
When you register your child between the ages of 5 and 15 to one of our centers via kidsbowlfree.com, your child will receive two FREE games per day from May 1 – August 10, 2018. If parents, grandparents, sitters or other siblings want to join in on the fun, you can add a Family Pass to your registration for a small fee.
If you don’t know how to bowl, don’t worry, we have some handouts in our centers designed to help adults teach kids the basics of bowling and learn to keep the ball on the lanes. It’s important to remind new bowlers that everyone gutters sometimes, even the pros, so don’t be afraid of that happening and don’t worry about your score. Learn to enjoy the challenge and celebrate your victories, even the small ones.
We do have lightweight bowling balls, small shoes, and bumpers available for our younger guests under 50” tall.
If you want to give your young person a solid foundation of beginning bowling skills, 48 Bowl will be offering some clinics this summer in conjunction with the YMCA. These clinics are designed to teach kids from K-8th grade a set of basic skills and give them an appreciation for this lifelong game. More information and registration details about these clinics will be available shortly!
If you are looking to spend some more focused time with a young person in your life, Parkway Lanes offers a Monday night Adult/Youth league with teams consisting of one adult and one youth, each. Teams will bowl three games each week in a relaxed recreational competition setting. At the end of this short season, teams will celebrate with an awards and pizza party night. You don’t have to have prior league experience and we can help you get started.
Hollywood Bowl will also be offering a Saltdogs Adult/Youth league on Wednesday evenings in the same format. At the end of this ten-week season, all teams will receive two lower-level reserved seats to a Saltdogs game, complete with Dog Dollars to spend on concessions.
Both of these leagues are perfect for both adult and youth beginners. It’s a great way to spend consistent time with your young person; communicating, being active and having fun together for a couple of hours each week. Registration and more information on both leagues can be found at www.48bowl.com. Click on Leagues & Tournaments, then Upcoming Leagues.”
Over summer break, kids not only benefit from regular activity but from continued interaction with friends and others their age.
“There are a lot of opportunities out there for kids to stay active and continue some type of routine,” says Diane Hesson with Play It Again Sports. “No matter what it may be, make sure to get them involved in something. Sports, in particular, can be so important for kids’ overall health, providing them with physical challenges and helping with mental acuity, all while they’re developing positive social skills. Here in Lincoln, there are many opportunities for youth to get involved in sports.
At Play It Again Sports, we offer everything you should need to keep your kids active this summer. Whether it’s for baseball, softball, football, soccer, golf, or another sport or fitness-related activity, we’ve got a great selection of items. We have knowledgeable staff who truly enjoy applying their knowledge to help our customers find the right items and the right fit. For me, it is so rewarding to watch these kids transition from one sport to another throughout the year and to watch them grow. I love getting to be involved in that process. To outfit them with their first pair of cleats or bat and then help keep them in equipment as they grow and mature on the court or in the field, that’s a neat thing to be involved in and that is what the Play It Again Sports model is all about.”
Regular activity keeps those brains working and bodies moving, but there are also other things kids can do in the summertime that are enjoyable and mentally stimulating at the same time.
“Our school-age summer program incorporates fun and educational activities throughout the entire summer,” advises Dawn Robinson with World of Knowlege. “Maintaining some sort of routine and keeping kids learning throughout the summer is important. There are so many wonderful things for kids to take part in throughout the summer here in Lincoln. Help your child continue or gain the love of books/reading by visiting the library weekly. The Lincoln libraries have excellent programs for children of all ages to get them involved with the love of books. Perhaps have your child keep a journal throughout the summer, as putting their thoughts on paper will help with building language skills and organizational skills. For younger children, they can draw pictures and dictate what their picture is all about while having someone write down what they are saying.
Also important, help your child become or stay independent by giving them chores to do around the house. This, in turn, will help with routine, especially when it comes time to transition back to school.”
There’s still time to get registered for many of the summer activities for kids of all ages that are being offered this year all over Lincoln, and adventures well beyond, but do bear in mind that availability is somewhat limited at this point. Put it on your list of parental priorities this month, because it’s an experience that is truly such an important part of childhood. You’ll also be thankful you did when you’re enjoying a little of that precious adult time!