We have zoomed through the first month of summer break. It has gone by so fast! But past experience tells me that the lack of a defined schedule starts to wear on everyone. Kids are used to being stimulated all day at school and can get…..BORED. Gasp! I know. It is a bad word at our house too ;)
I have compiled a list of some of the things that we have done at our house. These are tried and true boredom busters!
And for even more ideas, follow my KIDS pinterest board!
I have included some inside activities as well because we lived in Las Vegas for 4 years and I know that it is too hot to even think about going outside during the day. We had to get creative indoors back then :)
You can make one that is reusable like this one made from PVC pipe and a tarp, or you can use blankets and your picnic table. But is there anything more magical than a for or playhouse when you are young? (Click the above link for a video tutorial!)
If it is too hot outside, then stack up pillows and make a fort inside :)
#2 Treasure Hunt
I use to make treasure hunts for my younger brother growing up and now I make them for my kids. I get a treat or something fun and put it in a shoe box. Sometimes I decorate the box to look like a treasure chest. The I hide it somewhere in the yard. A few time I even dug a hole and buried it! I either make a map ( if they are younger) or give them a clue on a piece of paper that leads to another clue and so forth until they find the prize. It is a fun way to keep them busy for awhile.
#3 Go For A Hike
We like to start out early since it get so hot here in the summer. We are lucky enough to be a very short drive away from the canyon. But even if it is more of a walk than a hike, find a place in your area you can get out and get some exercise. Leave the devices at home and enjoy the scenery!
This is one of our favorite homemade recipes. We do all kind of fruit, not just blueberries. There are literally hundreds of recipes online, so find one that looks good to you and have your kids help you. Sometimes it is hard for them to wait for them to freeze, but they will love that they got to help make them :)
My kids love all things army, but you could make these in any color. Click the link above to see the full tutorial. Super easy!
I explain it better in my post (click on the clickable title #6 -above) but a couple years in a row we planted a rainbow garden in a section of our garden plot just for the kids. I had to order most of the seeds online but it was so worth it! And you can even make garden markers.
#7 Paint Rocks
Instead of lemonade stands as a kid, I painted rocks and had a rock sale. There is something so fun about painting rocks! If you have never done it, it may sound weird. But I promise your kids will love it :) Wash them really well and let your kids paint away! We use acrylic craft paints. Turn them into bookends, paperweights, door stops, or just display them on a shelf.
#8 Have A Paper Airplane Race
Almost all my scrap paper gets used up by my boys in the making of and perfecting of paper airplanes. They love to have races! It can occupy up to 3 hours of their time as long as no one argues. I even get the markers out and let them decorate them.
We started doing this when our oldest (who is now 12) was super tiny. We lived in Vegas and it was so hot outside. I grabbed the masking tape one day and made roads all over the carpet. I added some toy buildings and Voila! A city. We still do this but now painter’s tape is usually the tape of choice :)
#10 Make chin faces
I remember my brother and I doing this growing up. It still cracks me up! Make sure to draw on their faces with non toxic washable markers. Put on some music for a lip sync too! Film it for future entertainment.
#11 Bubble Blowing Contest
Whether it is soap bubble you blow or chewing gum, have a contest to see who can blow the biggest bubble. Maybe the bubble that lasts the longest. Or the smallest, or the most. Kids are fascinated with bubble of all kinds and will be entertained for a long time.
Instead of just putting a movie on for the kids, turn it into an all day event by having them make cars for the “drive-in” before hand. They can help make a treat for the movie too. We made these cars a few years ago and they lasted over a year! And yes, I am sure you have seen the stolen version of this photo on Facebook. I guess that just proves it was a good idea :)
I never played with store bought clay growing up. I am not sure if I even knew that there was such a thing. The clay we made growing up smelled like salt. My sister found a recipe that calls for Kool-Aid and it smells yummy!
#14 Let Your Kids Take Photos
Let you child take your phone or camera and take pictures of whatever they want. You may be surprised at how good they are! Or you may have to play the “what is this?” game when looking through them :) Since we live in a digital world, it doesn’t cost anything for them to snap away!
#15 Microscope fun!
I love that my oldest asked for a microscope for Christmas about 4 or 5 years ago. We have looked at all sorts of things. The boys love gathering specimens around the yard and house. You can even sneak in a science lesson or two.
#16 Magic Show
We have a book full of easy magic trick for kids. Sometimes my kids like to put on a magic show for the family. You can also look up tricks online and even watch videos. Or maybe you could put on the show for your kids! Glittery hats are optional….
#17 Home Depot Kids Workshops
On Saturdays throughout the year, Home Depot offers kid workshops where they get to build something like a birdhouse, truck, or catapult. My kids have loved going in the past and still wear their tool belt/apron around.
#18 Backyard Camping
We love to camp and my boys would love to go every weekend. But it is a lot of work and sometimes I don’t want to load up everything but the kitchen sink into the van. So we started doing backyard camping trip. We set up the tent and make breakfast in the morning over the firepit. Less work, clean bathrooms, and just as much fun.
#20 Toy “Car Wash”
Set up a car wash and wash all of your outside toys that tend to get filthy. Bikes, those plastic “Flintstone” cars and trucks and get all clean in the name of fun.