Even kids find themselves looking for entertainment beyond their devices after they’ve spent hours glued to them. And, unless schedules are packed so tight with camps, sports, and vacations, it’s easy for everyone in the family to find themselves wondering what to do with the unlimited free time. If it’s about that time when kids are looking for something a bit more than games, Netflix, and apps to fill their time, here are a few ideas to keep summer productive, fun, and stress-free.
Put Together an “I’m Bored” Jar
It’s downright impossible to last an entire summer without hearing your children utter those two aggravating words, “I’m bored!” Fortunately, knowing that this sentence will frequently be uttered over the next couple months means parents have time prepare a response.
Right now, while ideas are fresh and boredom has yet to set in, gather the kids to brainstorm potential activities, write them down, and add them to a boredom jar. Then, whenever someone is bored, they can simply grab a piece of paper from the jar and have a ready-to-go activity guaranteed to extinguish summer boredom.
Here are a few ideas to get the boredom jar started:
- Visit a nearby park to play frisbee, tag, or soccer. (Combine rewards with the boredom jar so that kids can redeem points for their choice in game or sport!)
- Walk the dog around a new place. Whether it’s a park the family has been dying to try or the local wooded area for a hike.
- Play a board game – we recommend King of Tokyo!
- Consider chalk art, hopscotch, or tic-tac-toe on the driveway.
- Paint rocks to look like your favorite emojis.
- Create your own Slip N’ Slide, or get one in two days!
- Set up a lemonade stand or garage sale with old toys to earn some more cash towards the latest summer toys.
Along with ready-to-go activities to combat summer boredom, it’s also a good idea to encourage new hobbies that will engage their minds and bodies, and occupy their time.
Teach Kids to Garden
Take advantage of some of the best weather the year has to offer and encourage children to take up a hobby that gets them outside. Gardening is a great way for kids to become more comfortable in nature and to learn about where their food comes from. All it takes is a bit of research or a trip to the grocery store to determine which fruits and vegetables will grow best in the local summer climate. Once the seeds are bought, the fun part begins! Let kids get messy as they start helping Mom and Dad save on the grocery bill.
Play a Pick-Up Game
While many summer camps revolve around sports, it doesn’t always have to be an organized endeavor. Sometimes the best way to get children excited about sports is to round up the neighborhood kids and start an impromptu game of flag football, road hockey, or soccer. Summer provides the perfect opportunity to expose children to different types of sports without the investment of signing up for an entire season.
Learn to Play an Instrument or Speak a New Language
Two months can be a long time for children to go without some brain stimulation, but it can also sometimes turn into an argument when asking them to pick up a book or practice their math skills. Instead of pushing school-type activities on children during the only months of freedom they have, stimulate their brains by promoting new skills that school’s may not offer.
Learning to play an instrument or speak a new language are both excellent ways to engage children’s brains during the summer months. Traditionally, these types of hobbies require lessons, and smartphones have made it possible to learn many skills at home. Duolingo is an interactive language app that quickly teaches the basics of a new language through games and fun quizzes. Similarly, Magic Instruments and Smart Gloves give anyone the skills to play an instrument, and Yousician is a fun music app that teaches users to play the piano, guitar, ukulele, or bass.
While the days of summer are long, they don’t have to be boring with the right preparation, activities, and engaging summer hobbies.
Kali Muir is an ambitious freelance writer with a BA in Communications. She was born in Canada but has since lived in Norway, Denmark, and England. Her work experience is as diverse as her past addresses, including roles in technical communication, corporate communication, marketing, and article writing. She has experience working in varied business sectors: Oil & Gas, Engineering & Technology, Clothing & Equipment Retail, and Creative Writing. Follow Kali’s professional and personal journey at www.kalimuir.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.