In theory, summer vacation is great, no stressing about getting the kids up and ready for school or nagging them every night to do their homework. But once the kids’ (and your) excitement of being out of school for a glorious two months wears off and the inevitable “I’m bored” syndrome strikes, it’s all but impossible not to count the days until the new school year starts. We’re here to help! Bust summer boredom and keep your sanity until the sweet relief of the new school year with these family fun ideas.
Find Fun, Local Events
It’s easy to miss family friendly events in your area if you don’t know where to look. Resources like Hulafrog and Yuggler make it easy to find fun things to do, no matter your budget or age of your kids. Hulafrog helps parents find fun events and kid friendly businesses recommended by other parents. It’s free and simple to use, you can even subscribe to get emails with top picks of events in or around your area so you’ll never run out of ideas of things to do with your kids.
Yuggler is similar to Hulafrog but is available as a free app for both iOS and Android devices. With Yuggler, you can find fun things for the family to do wherever you are. You can search for activities specific to your kids’ age, your budget, location, the weather, and dozens of other criteria to find the best activities for you and your family.
Spark Their Curiosity
Nurturing curiosity is a great way to bust boredom. Encourage your kids to think about where things come from, how stuff is made, or how things work, and you may be surprised to find that even the most mundane tasks can become interesting. A simple question, like where does ice cream come from, can lead to a whole afternoon of learning about cows and dairies followed by making your own ice cream with two Ziploc bags.
To make this kid friendly ice cream, all you have to do is mix together 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 a cup of heavy cream, and a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a pint-sized Ziploc bag. Next, fill a gallon bag halfway with ice and add 6 tablespoons of rock salt. Place the sealed bag of cream into the bag of ice, then close the gallon bag and shake vigorously for 5 minutes to get a tasty, frosty treat that will blow your kids’ minds.
Keep your kids entertained by planning some easy arts and crafts projects. Projects can be as simple as stringing together some colorful beads, or as complex as tie-dying some shirts. Or consider an art project with heart by joining The Kindness Rocks Project. The Kindness Rocks Project is a movement to paint rocks and leave them for others to find to brighten their day and is a great way to teach kids how simple acts of kindness can make a difference.
To spread some love and kindness, paint some rocks with a non-toxic spray paint. Allow the rocks to dry and then let your kids decorate the rocks with some paint pens, like Sharpie oil-based paint markers. Kids can draw their favorite animal on their rocks, write their favorite joke, or write an encouraging saying, whatever they think would make someone else happy. Once dry, paint with a coat of non-toxic clear sealant, like Mod Podge Outdoor Sealant, and go on a rock hiding adventure!
Explore Your Local Library and Museums
The local library is a great place to take kids and it’s free! Let your kids checkout their favorite books or movies to continue busting boredom once you get home. Museums are another great option for keeping kids entertained while also helping them learn in the process. Science museums are popular for young (and grown alike) for many of the interactive displays. If there isn’t a science museum near you, you can make any museum interactive by bringing a sketch book and colored pencils to have your kids draw their favorite exhibit.
A little creativity on Mom and Dad’s part can help stifle the constant stream of “I’m bored” and instead make the last days of summer vacation a blast. What are your favorite ways to bust summer boredom?
– By Stephen Reynolds, Editor @sreynoldswrites