It is the end of July and the kids are bored with summer. I don’t know why…after the winter we had here in the Northeast, I can’t get enough of being outside and doing “summer things”. It seems as though every summer by this time they are ready to get back to the routine of school, although no kid will ever admit that! I limit the time on electronics and it’s fairly easy to get them in the pool once per day so at least I know they aren’t stuck inside glued to a device, video game or television. My son is particularly into Legos and can spend hours in his room building. Although this is a great activity, I don’t like the idea of him being alone most of the day in his room. Other parents I have spoken with this summer are experiencing the same thing. Kids just don’t want to go outside. We wonder what happened to the days when we were younger and we were pushed out the door in the morning, called in for meals and then stayed out until dark or until we had a jar full of lightning bugs, whichever came first. We had a bike and nature. You certainly know you are getting older when you start a sentence with, “When I was a kid…”! Whether or not it’s the way we parent, the distraction of the electronic or physical environment we live or that kids are evolving differently, I wasn’t ready to give up hope. Here are some of the things that we have tried to bust the boredom.
30-Minute Family Activity Time
I have a hard time working exercise into my schedule because I hate the traditional machines and videos. I thought it would be fun if we scheduled a 30-minute activity session as a family so we could spend time together while having fun exercising. It doesn’t happen every night, but usually a few times per week. It takes place after dinner when everyone is home and involves an active sport. We have played basketball, volleyball, badminton, ping pong, pickle, tag (regular and glow stick), biking, walking the dog, water gun fights and have gone swimming. I also had my son set up an decathlon involving different stations and sports.
This summer there were quite a few birthday parties we attended/hosted (kids and adults), had a house guest, and took a few local trips as well. My daughter had dance classes a few days per week, and, of course, we had some play dates with friends.
We played a lot of board games. We love Deer in the Headlights, Clue and Clue, Jr. and Trivial Pursuit Family Edition.
I also went through the toy closet and it was full of crafty birthday gifts my daughter has received over the last few years so I decided this summer we would get to one every week or so. We also did some crafting of our own. We painted using food colored bubbles, painted glass bowls, made friendship bracelets, tie dyed, made snow globes, sewed a pillow, made a doll bed, made headbands and decorated a plush doll.
One of my favorite things we did was a challenge. One day recently everyone seemed to be in a funk. I was thinking about something exciting to do with stuff we had around the house. Like some kind of a challenge. So after a Google search didn’t turn up much, I went to Pinterest and found a Cork Raft Challenge for Kids. Basically they had to build a raft that would float people across water. With all the materials in hand and a bit of improvisation, I wrote my kids a note and delivered it to them in their rooms. It said: “Come to the kitchen for a challenge. Do you accept? P.S. Bring two Lego Minifigures.” I was gearing up for a fight, “this is boring”, “I don’t want to do this”, but they got right into it and loved it!
Wow! We actually did a lot! After re-reading this post, maybe they are bored because we did too much! Sounds like I am running a summer camp. But all-in-all, I am a very hands-on mother and I love to play and do projects so I guess as long as I can keep them interested, we all benefit! For any of you feeling the same as parents, I hope this post helped you, also check out my post called 10 Fun and Free Activities to do With Your Child This Summer. Enjoy the last month of summer!
- Go to the library and check out books. Then come home and have your child make a bookmark using paper, crayons, ribbon, stickers, paint, markers, etc.
- Check with local libraries to see what free children’s programming they are offering and attend one or more
- Bake cookies or a cake
- Go on a hike. Check your state website for trail listings
- Have a picnic lunch in your backyard or at a local park
- Get active! Have a dance party, jump rope or hula hoop contest, or play tag
- Take your kids outside with paper and paint and have them sit on the grass and paint a nature scene
- Collect acorns, sticks, flower petals, etc. and make a sign, story or press flowers
9. Go to the beach, collect shells and make shell art
10. Set up an obstacle course or scavenger hunt