Summer Activities with HeartIf you’ve cared for kids during summer break, you know how those ten weeks can stretch out! But summer is also a wonderful time to learn with your kids, in ways that might not normally have time for.  Best of all: they can help someone (or something!) in need, and feel really great about it.

Here are five activities for all kinds of kids:

The entrepreneur: If your kids want to earn money, brainstorm for small business ideas. The classic lemonade stand still lures many a thirsty family en route from the park.  Perhaps a portion of the proceeds can be donated to a charity.  Have your children research at least three.

The environmentalist: Create a way-station for migrating monarch butterflies, whose populations are threatened due to loss of natural habitat on their routes.  Visit to learn what to plant in your backyard or a nearby abandoned lot.

The fundraiser: With FIFA World Cup on this summer, many will have soccer on the brain!  Perhaps your resident soccer nuts could invite friends to play ‘the world’s longest soccer game’ in the local park, to raise funds for sports equipment for underprivileged kids.

The friendly neighbor: Is there an elderly person in your neighborhood, or mom with a very small child?  Summer’s a great chance to walk across the road with some baking, to ask how your son or daughter could help.  It’s a great chance for your child to practice reading out loud over the summer.

The caring baker: Invest in a tin of fair trade cocoa, or bag of fair trade sugar, and learn a basic cupcake or brownie recipe. Wherever your child offers these treats (to neighbors in need or for sale at a lemonade stand) he or she could share what they’ve learned about child labour.  Visit to learn more.