Itâ€™s that time of year when kids have the whole summer stretching endlessly in front of them. They make plans for all of the things they will do and the adventures they will have â€“ until the third week of summer when you suddenly hear, â€œMom, I’m bored.â€
There are many ways to keep that from happening. One way is to put activities on small slips of paper and keep them in a jar. When boredom hits, your child can choose one of the papers and do what it says. You can also have a list of things for him to do. If you have more than one child, make it into a contest. The one that completes the most activities wins a trip to the ice cream parlor.
Short on ideas? Here are some ways to beat summer boredom.
- Plant a small vegetable garden or even a big one. You can even plant a tomato plant in a large container. Learn about how to take care of the garden organically and in a few weeks, harvest and enjoy your homegrown vegetables.
- Read aloud to your kids from your favorite childhood books. Let them get to know the characters that you loved.
- Copy Van Goghâ€™s Starry Nights painting â€“ with finger-paint.
- Have a water balloon fight. Donâ€™t forget to collect the pieces of balloon afterward â€“ they can make birds and other wildlife sick.
- Make a hummingbird feeder and watch to see how many hummingbirds visit it every day.
- Open a lemonade stand if your town allows that kind of thing.
- Play an old fashioned game of cards. Choose a family favorite or learn to play a new game like Michigan Rummy.
- Play in the sprinklers. If you have enough kids, play tag in the sprinklers.
- Pack a lunch and go on a picnic.
- Play hopscotch.
- Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt but instead of collecting things, take cameras and cell phones and collect pictures of things.
- Keep a journal.
- Make ice cream.
- Learn to sew, knit, or crochet.
- Make beaded necklaces.
- Make rock candy.
- Bake cookies or cupcakes and take some to a neighbor.
- Learn about a different country every week and make a dish that is representative of the food.
- Get some friends together and create a short play, documentary, or commercial with the video camera.
- Check with your park and recreation department to see what classes they offer, if any. These are usually low cost.
- Go to a symphony, jazz concert, or other musical event that you have not been to before.
- Visit an art gallery.
- Experiment outside to see if mint Mentos really do explode in Diet Coke.
- Chew wintergreen Lifesavers in the dark in front of a mirror â€“ with your mouth open. See if you can make them spark.
- Learn a new language.
Use your imagination. There are hundreds of possible activities that will keep your kids busy until school starts in the fall.
Photo credit: Stormy Dog