Cutchogue-New Suffolk: Ways to keep summer vacation happy for kids and parents

‘Summertime and the livin’ is easy …’ No carpools to drive, lunches to pack or homework to check. What parents don’t look forward to is the prospect of hearing, after just a week, “I’m bored” or “There’s nothing to do.” Overwhelmed and frazzled one can’t help but wonder, “What was I thinking!”

Take control of your summer by focusing on the family as a whole and adding structure to your children’s day. Set regular bedtime and wake-up hours. Designate daily chores, which contribute to your child’s sense of belonging. Eat meals as a family; it’s a perfect opportunity to communicate and connect with one another. Family time — board games, drives, camping trips and adventure walks — are also great ways to develop closeness. Remember when you were told to “Go outside and play”? Encouraging kids to use their imagination to entertain themselves and get fresh air with outdoor playtime is beneficial — and can be the key to maintaining a mother’s sanity! If it rains, try an exercise video game made just for kids. But, set daily time limits for video gaming, computer use, phone calls and TV. Instead, visit the library — which offers lots of free summer programming and is a great resource for a happy, healthy, safe and fun summer.

Speaking of the library, this week’s programs include free hearing screenings on Thursday, June 30, at 2 p.m., and ”Our Ears and the World of Sound,” also on the 30th, at 3 p.m. Registration required for both; call 734-6360. But no registration is required for Patriotic Crafts Day on Wednesday, June 29, 3-4 p.m. for all ages.

Don’t miss the Old Town Art & Crafts Guild’s summertime antiques fair and bake sale this Saturday, June 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Featured items include antiques and vintage estate finds, furniture, jewelry, books, nautical items and other treasures for home and garden — plus great home-baked goods. For more information call 734-2373.

Belated happy birthday to Patti Burns and birthday wishes to my husband, Marc, who celebrates on the 28th.

The Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council’s summer hours start June 25, through Labor Day. Hours are Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 1 to 4 p.m. This year’s summer exhibit, “The American Child, 1600-1900,” opens July 16. It explores the changing practices and beliefs of childhood through furniture, portraits and toys of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The exhibit runs through Aug. 20 at the schoolhouse on the Cutchogue Village Green. For information call June Metzner, 734-7113.

Congratulations to 2011 Strawberry Queen Kaitlyn Doorhy. To see highlights of this year’s festival check out

Have a good week!

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