Summer Boredom Busters: Your Go-To Cheat Sheet

How do you prepare for the inevitable summer days when your kids moan, "I'm bored!"? What you need is the ideas in this post for summer boredom busters.

Quick & Easy Ideas to Banish Summer Boredom:

How will your kids spend their summer? Mine have a good mix of camp, music and swim lessons, and family adventures lined up. But there will come a time for every family – some sooner, some later – when your kids utter those two dreaded words: “I’m bored.” You need a go-to source of summer boredom busters ready, for when those days come.

Especially if you’re parents who, like us, try to ensure your kids don’t spend their summer hours glued to a screen.

Well, this post is your cheat shee. Read it now, and bookmark or pin it to come back to as needed throughout the summer.

(And you’re welcome!)

This is a collaboration post. However, please know I stand behind everything written here, and only include links to products/services/resources I’m willing to recommend personally.

Your Summer Boredom Busters Cheat Sheet:

1. Make a “summer boredom list” or “summer bored jar”

NOW, while summer is still just getting started, is the time to get an escape plan together. Your summer boredom busters plan will work best if you get your kids’ input now, in this early planning stage.

Sit down together and put together a list, now, of all the things they’d like to do this summer. Add in whatever other ideas they (or you) have for fun things to do when they get “bored.” Then capture these ideas in a format that’s easy to access whenever you need it:

  • You might write them down on a list that you hang on the refrigerator.
  • Or you could brainstorm them on a sheet of posterboard or newsprint, and hang them on the kitchen wall.
  • Or you could write them on slips of paper, popsicle sticks, or some other format and put them in a jar, so you can draw one out whenever needed.

Need some ideas for where to start? Then check out these related posts from the archives:

2. Get some fresh air together

Summertime is a great time to enjoy the great out-of-doors in ways that are harder during other times of the year. So make the most of it with your little ones, the next time they’re tired of their usual summer activities:

  • Take a hike. Or a walk. Or a family bike ride.
  • Splash in their wading pool. Or the sprinkler or slip-and-slide. Or your pool, if you have one. Or a public pool, lake park, ocean park, rive, stream, waterfall, or splash pad if you don’t.
  • Take them to a different park than the one(s) you usually visit.
  • Watch the sunrise together. Or enjoy a sunset. Or plan a middle-of-the-night alarm to get up together and do some stargazing.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt. Or to a local farm stand. Or a local pick-your-own site. Or harvest something together from your own garden.
  • Send them out to the sandbox. Or the dirt pile next to your house. Or the nearest stretch of sand. (Just don’t be surprised when they decide to, say, make “soup” – which is what Kimmie and Essie were doing here…)

3. Do some STEM work

There are so many great STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) activities that kids can do over the summer. Not only are these fun, but (shh!) your kids might learn something:

  • Have them help you plan out the itinerary/budget/mileage for your next family road trip.
  • Have them design and/or build something – an invention on paper, a skyscraper out of Legos or blocks, whatever.
  • Do some kitchen science. Build a solar oven and then make some s’mores in it. Or make your own supplies for a spa night at home. Or make some slime – a quick Pinterest search will turn up plenty of recipes.
  • Bake something together, and/or have them help you plan a meal. If at all possible, make sure you have to double (or halve) at least one recipe, so your helpers can practice their math and measuring skills.
  • Not up to making your own slime? Then check out the amazingly cool, scented options available at online slime shops.

RELATED POST: Sneak Some Math Into Your Preschooler

Even better, you can bake healthy summer snacks together, like breakfast cereal bars

4. Get crafty

Maybe it’s just my kids, but every time I turn around, it seems as if they’re making “art” in some form or another. Summer is a great time to try new art forms/craft activities, as well as work on old favorites:

  • Have your kids draw pictures (and/or write stories or poems) of their favorite summer activities or memories so far.
  • Have them make bracelets, beaded crafts, or bookmarks. Or weave something (coasters/potholders on a loop loom are among my girls’ favorites.) If they’re entrepreneurial, they can make enough of whatever craft it is to sell some to family members, neighbors, or at a community event.
  • Dye something. And while tie-dyeing a T-shirt certainly counts, why stick to just T-shirts? White tote bags, pillow cases, scarves, and aprons are just a few of the other options that are fair game.

5. Play something

Chances are good that you have at least a few classic board games around the house. (If not, summer can be a good time to replenish your stock, whether new or at yard sales/garage sales.) But they’re certainly not the only option.

RELATED POST: Smart Games For Your Holiday Gift List

There are so many classic card games you can play, too; many require only a deck of cards. And don’t forget basic games you don’t even need any equipment for, like Simon Says and Red Light Green Light, or charades for older kids.

Or you could haul out a jigsaw puzzle and work on that together. My mama, I, and now Essie are all addicted to jigsaw puzzles. As a result, we now have a permanent puzzle table set up in our living room, with one of our 500-piece puzzles on it at any given time; whoever has a few minutes can go over and work on it whenever they like. It’s especially fun as an inter-generational bonding activity whenever my mama visits.

Having some cool new coloring supplies on hand is another option…

What about you? What are your top summer boredom busters for your kiddos? Let us know in the comments!

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