For kids, summer means three months of endless play, activity and fun. For adults, sometimes that freedom can lead to sheer stress and anxiety. But if you have a healthy schedule with things to do that will keep your kids active, the summer will be more enjoyable for everyone. We listed some things in the Middle East you can do with and without your kids to keep them engaged and active this summer:
1) Summer camps — Most countries in the Arab world will have a variety of summer camps to pick from, ranging from exercise/sports centered to music and arts. In Beirut, the Apple Days Summer Camp, which will run from July 21 until August 28, keeps your young ones active with cooking courses, arts and crafts, dance classes, water games and animation. The Cairo American College also holds more educational summer camps for a wider range of kids, with focused courses to teach them particular skills. Amman has a huge variety of summer camps for children and teens, and a full list can be found on the Jordan Sun.
2) Fly kites — Though this activity requires more work from the parent, it is a great, active and fun activity for the whole family. You can even buy supplies and have the kids assemble and paint their own kites, flying them on an afternoon where you can catch some wind outdoors.
3) Paint pots and plant flowers — A creative activity that will also teach kids the value of plants and learning to take care of them, you can easily buy cheap clay pots, arts and crafts supplies or just simple washable acrylic paint and spend the afternoon decorating pots and planting house plants or flowers in them. The kids will take pride in caring for the plants because they had to plant them on their own.
4) Museums and art galleries — Exposing children to art and history from a young age will cultivate a sense of appreciation for cultural heritage as they grow older. Whatever city you’re in, decide to spend one Saturday each summer month to visiting a museum. The MENA region hosts a wealth of culture, heritage and art both ancient and contemporary, and is worth sharing with your children. Have the kids pick a favorite piece from the museum and try to draw it or write a story about it, or even research it at home and prepare a presentation about it for the family. In Iran, take your kids to the Moghadam Museum, which captures a real sense of the old Tehran, as preserved by two archeologists. In Qatar, the Museum of Islamic Art is a great place to introduce your children to religious art and artifacts, as well as teaching them more about the importance of preserving art.