“Mo-om! I’m boooored!” The most dreaded words of summer vacation strike fear into the hearts of parents everywhere. Sometimes it seems that summer boredom strikes the moment they step off the bus on the first day of break! And while the simplest thing might be to throw them in front of the nearest video game system or computer, you know that isn’t how you want your kids to spend their summer. You want screen-free boredom busters!
Here are a few fun activities to help combat summer and out of school boredom!
Some of them are great for unsupervised time, while others will need the help or watchful eye of a parent.
1. Create and go on a scavenger hunt.
Parents can create the clues and send the kids off to hunt or vice versa.
2. Write and illustrate your own book.
Siblings and friends can collaborate story ideas or one can write while the other handles the pictures.
3. Write letters or draw pictures to send to a far away friend or relative.
For extra fun, go shopping at the dollar store and put together a little care package to send along with the letters.
4. Set up camp in the backyard and imagine you’re trying to survive deep in the woods.
Roast hot dogs and marshmallows around the fire pit. (With adult supervision, of course.)
5. Try out a new recipe together.
Allow older children to take charge of planning and cooking a meal for the family on their own.
6. Sort through old toys and set up a garage sale.
You can make a few extra bucks for your next family outing or just treat everyone to pizza and ice cream.
7. Set up an at-home spa day and give each other manicures and pedicures, soak in the tub, and do your hair and makeup.
Before hoping in the tub, make a batch of bath salts or bath bombs to enjoy.
8. Learn a new hobby.
Try knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, woodworking, or gardening. Bonus points if you can spend some time with a grandparent or older friend or relative to learn these new skills.
9. Teach your kids a favorite game from your childhood.
Dust off a forgotten board game, draw a four square court in the driveway with some chalk, or grab a ball, a few neighborhood friends, and play Ante Over.
10. Put on a talent show.
Let the kids go all out, creating their acts, dressing up in costumes, and even inviting friends to come watch the final product.
11. Wash all the family vehicles.
What seems like a chore to mom and dad is often a lot of fun for the kids!
12. Perform acts of kindness.
Visit with the elderly, cook a meal for a new mom, or bake cookies for a neighbor.
13. Rearrange or redecorate a bedroom.
Younger kids can create new works of art to hang on the walls in the redesigned space.
14. Create a family or personal flag and write your own national anthem.
Use your favorite things to inspire your design and lyrics.
15. Drive to a different neighborhood and explore a new park!
Be sure to introduce yourselves to someone new while you’re there.
16. Build your vocabulary in a new language.
Arm your kids with a translator dictionary and some post-it notes and let them label common items around the house.
17. Paint inspiring words and pretty designs on rocks and hide them around town to bring a smile to the faces of others.
Bonus points if you find a rock while you are out hiding yours.
18. Work together to create a family playlist and then have a dance-off in the living room.
Make up your own dance moves to name after yourself!
19. Play “fun school.”
Allow kids to take turns being the teacher and teaching the rest of the family how to do their own talent or favorite activity.
20. Relax on a blanket and look for shapes in the clouds.
Make up stories to go with the items that you see.
21. Quiz each other with fun trivia questions.
The sky is literally the limit when it comes to fun and imaginative things to combat summer boredom. Use these ideas to help spark inspiration for even more screen-free ideas to keep your kids occupied this summer.