As summer time looms around the bend, grands face the challenge of keeping the g’kids occupied in ways that are more creative than simply allowing them to blindly turn on the computer and play video games nonstop for three months.
So, what else can they do on the computer?
- Learn to type (“keyboard” in contemporary lingo). Improving any skill is never a waste of of their favorites and illustrate it
- Make a joke book. Kids can search Google for jokes, cut and paste a collection of their favorites and illustrate it.
- Make a recipe book. For a gift or for family use: Consider “chocolate-only” recipes or a barbecue cookbook. A good place to start.
- Design a book of “my favorite things.” Google image searches produce an amazing variety of photographs and illustrations. The theme could be funny stuff, animals, cars, motorcycles, superheroes…. Print, cut and paste in a booklet. (PS: It’s a good idea to monitor this activity!)
- Write a storybook for a younger child. An older child can write a simple, original book in large type. It could be a silly story or a story based on a family experience. Illustrations or photos can be scanned from family pictures or cut and pasted from online images.
- Design mini-posters with favorite quotations or slogans.
- Plan a trip. Let the child search the Internet for a destination—either a realistic possibility or a fantasy—and find hotels, events, parks, zoos, etc. They can estimate the cost of the trip by checking out trains and airplanes and ships.
- Design and print yard sale signs, signs for the family vegetable stand, the church bake sale, the pet parade, the country fair.
- Produce a slide show. If you have a collection of digital photos saved on your computer, you will be surprised at the skill of kids age 9 and up in making movies! It is easy to add captions and voice-overs or music.
- Find the family. Children age 8 and up can search for family names on the Internet and get involved with genealogical research. You can even help them put together a family tree. A free “Introduction to Genealogy” course is available online.