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It’s late July. All the movies you and the kids were excited to see have been watched. The new crayons are worn down and the new coloring books are filled in. The sidewalk chalk is used up. Toys are strung everywhere. They not as fun as they were a few weeks ago. You’ve been to the library every week. Going to the pool is a ho-hum activity now. Instead of waking up excited at the newness of a fresh summer day, the kids are sleeping in. Whining. Bored.
Late Summer Boredom has set in. The freshness of summer is worn off. School is almost a month away.
You’re out of ideas.
How will everyone survive until school starts?
Help for Beating Summer Boredom
Cardboard Box Playhouse
My kids LOVED making a playhouse out of appliance boxes. This was my go-to idea that I always saved for this time of the summer when they needed a new way to be creative. Yes, they had a “playhouse” that was part of their swingset. But this is one they made themselves with a little help from mom.
Go to a store that sells appliances and ask for their used boxes. They’re usually happy to give them away.
When you get them home, cut out windows and doors for the kids with a box cutter. Use packing tape to tape the boxes together to create different “rooms” with a door leading to each room.
And here’s the part they loved the most: Painting their house.
Dress them in their old clothes that can be tossed away. Dig around the garage or basement for cans of paint that you don’t really need anymore. Just make sure it’s water-based paint, not oil-based paint. This is also a great way to use up those mostly-empty bottles of craft paint. Give them an assortment of brush sizes and a disposable aluminum pan of water and let them go.
They’ll paint pictures on their walls, frames around their windows, different colors in each room, and their names on the outside of their playhouse. Then they can “move” into their new house with their blankets, pillows, and toys and entertain themselves for hours.
Eventually, it will rain. Unless you move the playhouse to a shed or garage, it will melt in the rain and can be discarded.
Make Slime and Playdough
Kids love making slime and playdough! They can be made with ingredients that are budget-friendly and easy to find at any department store! Click on this link to get 19 slime recipes.
My sweet sister-in-law gave me her playdough recipe when my kids were little. My kids and I made LOTS of playdough during the summer months. It takes just a few minutes and is made with ingredients found at any grocery store. I like using food coloring paste to color homemade playdough. The colors are much richer.
Get out the cookie cutters, rolling pins, frosting spreaders, plastic cutlery, and kid-safe kitchen gadgets. Make some playdough. Cover the table or play area with baking parchment paper (taped down), wax paper, or an old vinyl tablecloth to protect the wood. Did you know a garlic press makes great playdough “hair”?
Draw What You See (older kids)
I always wanted my kids to really see the world around them. The best way to focus on detail is to draw what you see. I always made sure my kids had a sketch pad and some art supplies.
Sketch pads can also be made using cardboard for covers, yarn for binding, and plain paper for drawing, like this one my daughter made to record her experiences on our family vacation to Wyoming.
I highly recommend kids taking sketch pads and pencils along on a family vacation. It’s easy to take photos of what is seen and experienced on vacation with a smartphone. Sitting and sketching what is seen is relaxing. It puts you fully in the moment and the environment. Slowing down to really see, I think, is an important part of a vacation. A 4×6 sized sketch pad fits perfectly into just about any bag. Toss into the bag a few sketch pencils and an eraser and your child is good to go.
Design a Backyard Obstacle Course
Find new ways to use the toys already in the garage. Join up with the neighbors and have them bring their toys and design an obstacle course. Invent creative activities with the toys and time each other as the course is run.
It’s All Fun & Games Pinterest Board
I created a board on my Pinterest page called It’s All Fun & Games that links to lots of ideas for creating games and having fun. There’s Squirt Gun Water Races, Bug Butts Reading Game, ideas for scavenger hunts and instructions for card games and more. It’s a valuable resource to help you with ideas for creative budget-friendly fun!
Some Apps That Help Bust Boredom
You don’t have to have kids to enjoy these apps. My kids are grown and we use them when we want to enjoy time together. 🙂 They’re also a fun way to spend time with friends or to go on an adventure alone.
Find a trail to walk, hike, or bike wherever you are with the AllTrails app. Every level of trail difficulty from easy and little kid-friendly to experienced hikers only are shown on this app. Your location on your smartphone is used to help you find trails in your area.
My daughter and I used this app on a trip to Colorado Springs. We spent a morning hiking the Seven Bridges Trail. We really liked how the app has a real-time map that shows your location on a trail so you don’t get lost.
My son and I enjoy geocaching together. It’s a kind of scavenger hunt where you use GPS coordinates and hints to help you locate a cache that someone has hidden. Some caches contain trinkets from those who find them, and every cache has a little piece of paper which you can record your name and the date you found it. A great place to start geocaching is your local county and state parks.
Where I live, the county conservation boards created themes for their caches that make the hunt fun. The caches placed by the park contain little trading cards with photos of the local flowers, birds, mammals, and reptiles, and fun facts about the plant or animal in the photo. Polk County, Iowa sponsors a Geocaching Challenge where participants can win prizes. Check out your local county conservation board’s website and see if they have fun geocaching programs for you to enjoy.
Geocaching is a great way to explore where you live.
Get a Garlic Press, Food Coloring Paste, and Art Supplies Here!
Click on the links in the article or on the images below to get what you need to beat summer boredom 🙂
What are your ideas for beating summer boredom? I’d love for you to share in comments so everyone can get ideas 🙂
Thank you so much for reading!
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