As the rush of the school year turns in to long summer days filled with complaints of “I’m bored”, reality sets in for us Moms that it’s time to find some activities that will keep our kids entertained without costing us a small fortune.
Having a fun filled summer without spending alot of money may take a little extra planning but I speak from experience when I say it can be done. Here are five summer boredom busters I bet your kids will love as much as mine do (best of all, each one can be done for free using supplies you already have at home):
1. Hold a Contest – See who can can create the tallest hat, throw a paper airplane the farthest or blow the most bubbles in one minute. Get creative! The more people who join in, the more fun everyone has, so invite your kids’ friends over to challenge one another. Older kids can plan their own event, get the supplies together and explain the rules to the participants. Make the prize something simple such as the winner gets to choose what’s for dinner.
2. Have a Bike Parade – When the novelty of going for a bike ride wears off, make it exciting again with decorations and a parade. Start with a bike washing station complete with spray bottles (or the hose) and rags. Then raid the craft cupboard for streamers, ribbons, balloons, artificial flowers and anything else you can find. When the bikes are decorated, send the kids on a parade around the neighborhood to show off their creations.
3. Go on a Scavenger Hunt – Kids love nature, and they love it even more when they can interact with it. A scavenger hunt is a great way for kids of all ages to do this. Create small cards detailing each thing they are to find such as a pinecone, an acorn, a flower that is yellow, something that smells good. Use pictures for smaller kids who cannot read yet and for older kids make it more of a challenge by having them look for items such as leaves from a deciduous tree and specific types of flowers. Give each child a bag to collect what they find and afterwards use the treasures to create a craft or start a discussion about how an ecosystem works.
4. Repeat a Holiday – Halloween is so nice, why not do it twice? Picking a favorite holiday and celebrating it again is always a favorite with kids. You can keep it simple with a craft and a holiday inspired snack, or go all out and recruit the neighbors for a street wide mid-July trick-or-treat. The kids will love feeling like they’re getting away with something by celebrating one of their favorite times of year a second time.
5. Create Theme Days – Make every day activities such as playing in the yard, doing crafts, eating a snack, going for a walk and reading books new and interesting by doing them in a different theme each day. Pirates, dinosaurs, jungle animals, under the sea, outer space, rainbow colors and bugs are all easy themes that kids will love coming up with ways to incorporate into their daily routine. Homemade outfits, role playing and creative snack concoctions will have everyone giggling.
However you choose to pass the long summer days, I hope you have lots of fun doing it!
Guest post by: Jennifer Kirkpatrick is a mom of two who spends hours each summer coming up with fun new activities to try with her kids and their unsuspecting friends. When Jennifer is not planning summer activities she runs Pipsqueak Boutique, an online children’s store specializing in personalized books for children and lots of other personalized kids gifts and personalized baby gifts – all of which are alot of fun!