Schools out! The kids are on summer vacation!

If you were like me, my brother and I didn’t have all that much supervision in summer. It was definitely a different time. Today’s kids have so much going on over summer and so many distractions: online video games, social media, peer pressure, and camps.

How do you keep your kids active and safe - digitally and physically - over summer?

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We old school road trip. Arkansas to Michigan with stops in Louisville and Indianapolis

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The daycare my son goes to is a big help. They take the kids to the park, bowling, and they have a very nice outside play area. When they do watch tv, it Little House on the Prairie. The owner/operator is an old school, Christian woman. She doesn’t take any crap from the kids, and she also has brain building hands on type toys and activities in hand. On Mondays, he’s with me, or my parents. They plan all kinds of outdoor/physical activities for him and one of his cousins. With me, it’s fishing, range time, or working in the yard. He has camp next week, at which I am a volunteer counselor for his group. My wife and I limit his electronics time, unless the weather is bad, then we allowing “extra” time. Our backyard is completely fenced in by a 7 foot privacy fence, so, he can play in our yard all he wants. We(me, him, my wife) go at least every other week to somewhere we can hike, picnic, and he takes binoculars to watch the wildlife. There’s also Vacation Bible School where, again I volunteer, and so does my wife. And, my stepmom makes all the decorations m so, me and my son go help set up for that. He’s a good go fer. He’s getting big and strong enough to be really helpful with those things. Last, certainly not least, me and him go hang out at my favorite gun shop. We shoot the bull with the other patrons about how bad Illinois law is, and other assorted topics.

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Hard physical labor 6-10 hours a day between trips kept us pretty well out of trouble. :grinning:

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That is getting harder to find at a daycare these days - from what I’m hearing from other parents.

Do you use a chore chart? My daughter’s step-daughter will be getting a chore chart this summer to “buy” access to her electronics. She’s 12. I think it’s a great idea - she will learn the value of money and determine if wasting time on electronics is worth the money. The caveat is the step-daughter will have her phone without time restrictions - if she’s on a call with her mom.

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We don’t use a chore chart, but he has chores. Unloading and reloading the dishwasher, cleaning off the table after we eat, and folding his own socks are a start. From time to time, we make him vacuum the living room. He also has a a hamster, that it is his responsibility to clean up after and feed. We offer gentle reminders, since he is only 9. When he helps me with outside chores, he gets compensated so to speak. We do let him make some decisions on what he spends his money on. Last year, he wanted a PS4. He saved up Birthday and chore money to the tune of 285 dollars, of the 300 he needed. We kicked in the rest.

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One of my least favorite chores! :rofl:

That is VERY impressive!

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The great grandbaby pretty much runs wild on the farm… she has limits on where she can go… in with the sheep or goats or chickens or dogs is ok, in with the cows or horses is not. She’s got a couple of acres from the hay-bales to the house to the livestock pens that she can wander at will. She’s got unofficial chores - collect eggs, help with watering, feeding the chickens - but nothing on the farm that’s her responsibility yet. She’s just 6 and is starting to show some of the signs of being ready for responsibilities appropriate to her age.

When I’m home, walks up to the pasture, to the back pond, and to visit the boneyard are always in order.

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No horses? Gee I have a 1,500lbs 16.1H Tennessee walker that makes a great babysitter and has since he was two!

We’ve had as many as six kids ranging from under ten to still in diapers on him at once and he’ll take care of them all day long.

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@wildrose we’ve got horses, a whole pasture full. :grin: we do draft horse rescue and at the moment I have 17 in my pasture. Percheron, gypsy vanner, an American cream cross, spotted drafts, Belgian, and haflinger. And one lone light horse. I’ve got you topped on size, our big Belgian is 18.2 and about 2200 lbs. The babysitter is Buzz, hes a solid little haflinger that is as good as it gets. Were going to start the great grandbaby riding this year (currently she just hops on several of the sheep) … just need to get a saddle for her.
When I was 18 I managed an Arabian ranch for a year, they had a border who was a huge black Tennessee Walker… “Fang” … he was one of the sweetest most gentle, willing horses I’ve ever met. Sounds like your guy.

As a rule draft horses tend to be the most gentle but of course if they are running in a herd your preemption on the youngster is very wise.

When I was cowboying the best horses I ever road were part about a quarter Belgian or Percheron with a little mustang and quarter horse thrown in.

The funniest horse I ever saw anyone riding was a tiny little cross between a Belgian, Quarter, and Welch. She was barely 700lbs but lightning quick and could pull cows/bulls/steers twice her weight into a trailer and was absolutely deadly as a heeling horse. The guy even used her steer wrestling because her small stature and quick getaway out of the box made her ideal.

My horses are all raised with dogs from day one so they grow up thinking they are just big dogs.

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Hank the horse on the ground with the pups is five years old and 16.2H about 1,400lbs. He’s half Walker/Half Trotter and half brother to Louie the “big horse”. Hank’s gone, gave him to a friend but he’s still playing with puppies at his new home and his new owner, a good friend of mine Wrangles about 15-20 field trials a year so Hank never runs out of good opportunities to play with dogs.

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Louie and “Little Joe” with a puppy.
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We even feed the horses with puppies to get them accustomed to one another.

Sorry for the photo heavy post but I was afraid if I just posted a link someone would accuse me of trying to advertise since they’re from my dog website. Full diclosure I raise and train German Shorthairs and occasionally sell horses for field trials.

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@WildRose - beautiful pictures, beautiful creatures. :sparkling_heart:

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Not that I’d ever brag on my kids or anything but this is what they grow into.

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Never had any two legged kids so I spent about as much on triling the four legged kids as I would have putting three or four kids through college. HA!

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