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  • Hillary Einboden

How to help your child find their summer "Passion Project"

Summer 2020 is presenting parents across the globe with yet another new problem to solve: how to help their child find meaningful and fun ways to spend their days. Many summer camps are now online experiences and this means that families are finding themselves with kids at home needing something productive to do with their (abundant) free time.


This is what "Passion Projects" are all about. A hobby, craft or activity that inspires your child and gives them a sense of purpose. It's what lights them up and they can't stop talking about.


In my experience, there are two main types of Passion Projects - one that is broad and ongoing, like a love of sport, inventing or design. The second type tends to be more specific - like creating cartoon flip-books or playing with a new toy or kit - and children move more quickly on to something new when they tire of it.


How do you help your child find their summer Passion Project? Ask yourself these questions:


1). What does your child love to talk about more than anything else?

2). What gift would your child most dream of receiving if there were no rules or limitations?

3). What would your child want to stay up late learning more about or creating?

4). What would get your child off of their favorite screen-time activity without a fuss?


Now that you have identified a potential Summer Passion Project, here is a tip: try to let your child be the one to tell you what they would most love to spend their time on this summer. Let them be the ones to suggest their own Passion Project. We parents know that our kids are much more likely to get excited about something that they feel in control of, not something that they think we want them to do!


And finally, a little note of caution: Passion Projects can get messy. Like dried-hot-glue-on-furniture-sticky-tack-in-carpets-marker-on-pillows kind of messy. Yes, I am speaking from experience! But seeing them off of passive screen-time, engaged and enlivened, makes it totally worth it.