The school year is drawing to a close and summer break is on the horizon. As a parent, you often find yourself faced with the familiar dilemma: how to fill your child’s schedule with summer activities.

With college applications looming, the pressure to fill every moment with structured programs and enriching experiences can be overwhelming. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of scheduling camps and classes, it’s essential to pause and consider the value of embracing summer serendipity.

The concept of serendipity – a happy accident or pleasant surprise – may seem at odds with our desire to plan every aspect of our children’s lives. However, it’s precisely during these unplanned moments that some of life’s most meaningful experiences occur.

This summer, remember to embrace screen-free unstructured time. While organized programs and camps offer fantastic experiences (as I talk about in this blog post), free time away from screens allows for exploration, creativity, and unexpected discoveries. 

Of course, I’m not advocating being a couch potato or banning all screens for two months (although that’s entirely up to you). Only to suggest a balance between structured activity, screen time, and unstructured activity. 

Unstructured time fosters:

  • Exploration: Without a set agenda, your teen can explore topics and activities that attract their curiosity – this could be a new hobby or just going outside the house for physical activity.
  • Creativity: Free from external pressures, your child can let their imagination run wild. Maybe they’ll write a song, build a lego fort, or doodle a masterpiece. You never know what hidden talents might emerge.
  • Self-discovery: Unstructured time allows for introspection and relaxation. It’s during these moments that passions and goals can solidify, leading to a renewed sense of purpose come fall.

Tips for Making the Most of Unstructured and Screen-Free Time:

  • Let them explore interests: Talk to your child about their hobbies and passions. Perhaps a trip to the library or a local museum can spark further exploration.
  • Embrace boredom: Boredom might sound counterintuitive, but boredom and daydreaming are often the catalyst for creativity. Don’t be afraid to let your child experience a little boredom and let them figure out ways to entertain themselves – it might just lead them to their next big idea!
  • Encourage downtime: Unstructured time doesn’t have to be filled with activity. Allow your child to simply relax, daydream, or enjoy the company of friends. The school year is stressful and summer is a well-deserved break.

Additional Resources About the Benefits of Unstructured Play Time:

As you and your child plan for the summer, aim to balance structured activities with free time – embracing the potential for serendipity.

A summer filled with serendipity can be just as enriching as one packed with activities. Let your child explore, recharge, and discover. The benefits will carry them far into the school year and beyond.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about creating a summer plan that supports your child’s academic and personal growth.

Also, when you’re ready, here are three ways we can help you:

Working with Stodghill College Consulting, each high schooler showcases their unique skills and talents, discovers their own brilliant voice, and finds a college that will enable them to reach their full potential as young adults.