New resources for children’s summer doldrums

I’ve heard that summer is two to four weeks too long for most parents of school-aged children. The first few weeks seem like a blessed release from the structured routine of the school day – get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to school, come home from school, do homework, eat dinner, go to bed. . Repeat.

Even now, I remember that break from routine, surely in part because former teachers like me had a similar experience. But there always came a time when I was bored, bored, bored. I had exhausted my energy doing all the things I loved to do – those things I never had time for during the school year – and I still wanted to do something challenging, exciting or new.

One summer at our cabin in the northern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan, I reached this point. Even the bat on the back porch that my dad was trying to trap didn’t fascinate me anymore. The guitar my mother had brought with her sat quietly in a corner of the living room, and I decided I would learn to play it on my own. I’m a “give her a book and she can learn to do almost anything” type, so I taught myself the guitar with the beginner’s music book we had tailored to my learning style. For the rest of the week there, I learned a few chords and played a few easy songs, but most importantly, I wasn’t bored anymore.

Today I’m struck by the fact that summer is a wonderful time to try new things just for the sake of learning. This week’s trio of CatholicsRead resources for kids and families is all about trying something new as we approach midsummer.

For the child artists in your life, Catholic Book Publishing’s Painting book of Saint Joseph on the mass is an innovative activity book that will engage children’s creativity and teach them about the mass. Paint palettes inside front and back covers provide enough colors for 16 individual illustrations – just add water.

If you are looking to build a little structure in your child’s life for their religious education, try the Magnificat MagnifiKid. This weekly subscription begins in September and will enhance your child’s attendance at Mass and increase their knowledge and understanding of the Faith with a colorful Sunday Missalette and prayer guide for ages 6-12.

For teenage readers in your home, introduce them to the books of Whitefire Publishing Brother Wolf by Eleanor Bourg Nicholson. This Catholic adventure novel is about heroine Athene Howard who encounters a clairvoyant Dominican postulant, a stern nun, and a reluctant English nobleman who embark on a quest for a savage Franciscan werewolf. Can Athene and her new compatriots fight against the ruthless forces of darkness crying out for the overthrow of civilization and the devouring of so many wounded souls?

Each of these resources can help the kids in your life beat summer boredom.

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Therese Brown is the executive director of the Association of Catholic Publishers. She holds a Master of Arts in Youth and Liturgy from the Catholic Theological Union of Chicago. Previously, she served as a Senior Marketing Specialist in the Publishing Office of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. She is the author of Graced Moments: Prayer Services for Teen Life (World Library Publications). She resides in the Baltimore area.

New resources for children's summer doldrums

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