Summer….thoughts of flowers blooming, ice cream cones dripping, lightening bugs flying, and children saying, “I’m bored!” Wait, back up……let’s replace that phrase with there are LOTS of great summer activities for kids!
As the parent of two grown daughters, I cherished summers with less structured days and more time together as a family. But, there were days when this Mom who worked from home looked up to the sky for Mary Poppins to drop in! With a little planning, you can prepare for those times your kids get bored and are looking for things to do.
Here are some ideas to make this summer the best one yet:
*Make a “Boredom Busters” list. Ask your kids to make a list of 10-15 things to do this summer. Prompt them to list books to read, places to visit, friends to connect with, etc. Put the list on the fridge or other visible place and when they come to you with that look on their face (Mom, there’s nothing to do!), just point to the list!
*Have a tech free day this summer. Pick a day and turn off the TV, DVD player, computer, tablets, and anything that is plugged in. Maybe for your family it’s “Tech Free Wednesdays”. Refer to the “Boredom Busters” list on these days. This is the perfect time for your kids to learn how to entertain themselves and come up with creative ways to spend the day. For the brave at heart have a tech free week!
*Plan a water play day! This was actually one of my favorite days. Pick up water toys, slip and slides, sprinklers, etc. Check out the dollar store or yard sales for cheaper items. Allow your kids to invite friends over for a “cool” activity! Serve cold snacks- maybe even a sundae bar with all the toppings. Invite the parents too- everyone has fun around water. And the bonus- easy clean up!
*Plan a camping trip- even if it’s in your backyard. We weren’t a camping family, but if this is something you enjoy, plan a trip together. Get out the map, check out campsites, make menus, and plan excursions. And, if you don’t have the time/money to get away, go camping in your backyard. Borrow a tent from a friend and enjoy sleeping under the stars!
*Investigate all you can do in your city for free or low cost! Make this a family challenge as you scout out activities at the library, churches, local parks, etc. Have pitch in dinners with friends and rotate houses- it’s better than a restaurant with kids. Swap movies and computer games with friends (not on tech free days!). Check out movie theatres that have low cost matinees. Be creative- how can you have fun with minimal cost?
*Think back… what summer activities did you enjoy as a child? Maybe it was lemonade stands, family and neighborhood plays, kick the can, hide and seek-the list goes on! Tell your children about your childhood summer memories. It’s important to pass down our stories and I’ll bet a few of those memories are revived through the next generation!
Above all, enjoy the days of more sunlight and free time; the lazy days of summer pass quickly. What are some summer activities your family enjoys? Share in the comment section below.
Photo Credit: FreakinButt / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA