We are now one month into the summer, and I’m sure some of you have already heard the phrase, “Mommy, I’m bored!”
Now in my house when I was growing up, the answer was always, “Here is a window you can wash!” or some other job that needed to be done. So we learned quite quickly to never say the “b” word.
Here are some ideas I’ve thought of doing with my children that I don’t always see on the traditional “bucket lists.”
- 1. Set up a table and work on a big jigsaw puzzle. When it is done, have it framed!
- 2. Print out your pictures week by week. Take one afternoon a week and have your children each take a few of the pictures and design a page for the family scrapbook . At the end of the summer, you will have your all your memories from the summer in the scrapbook. Boys would even enjoy doing this when they get to do a page with pictures of themselves and especially if they get to choose the scrapbook paper.
- 3. Have them make thank you cards ahead of time to use for when they get gifts later. They could be “generic” with no message except the words “Thank You”, so that they can be used at a later date. Of course stamps and special scissors help, but you can print out words and pictures from your computer. Children are so creative–if you have leftover ribbon or stickers, they will find a way to use them!
- 4. Have an Uno Tournament! Choose what point level you want to stop at. (We often go to 500 points. When one team reaches 500 points, the game ends.) You play a game with only four people. You can have more than one game going on, but each game would have only four people. The four people are two pairs of two people. The pairs sit opposite each other. They can not tell each other what cards they have, but they try to help each other out by skipping the other team and giving them Draw Fours, etc. You keep score like always, except you combine the pair’s points. The pair that has the lowest amount of points wins. If there are two or more games going on (8 or 12 people), then the lowest pair and the highest pair from each game would play another game together. The lowest pair from the 2nd game would be the tournament’s winner!) This is fun, because even five year olds can play Uno!
- 5. Play that never-ending Monopoly game! Leave it set up where the two-year-old can’t get at it and play it for only half an hour a day!
- 6. Bake together! My children love to bake with me, but my 8 and 11 year olds can now start to do it by themselves with a little bit of supervision. Take the goodies to the elderly or a neighbor!
- 7. Let the children make dinner (supervised).
- 8. Save toilet paper or paper towel rolls and have an award for the most creative craft.
- 9. Save boxes they can build a fort with.
- 10. Play a basketball game together. We do boys against girls. There are 5 girls including mommy in our family, but the three year old doesn’t play. So it’s four against two. Which is totally fair since my husband is very good! If you don’t have a hoop, go to a park that does.
- 11. Play croquet or a frisbee game.
- 12. Make a lego creation (not a kit!)
- 13. Let them plant their own garden, weed it, and care for it.
- 14. Have them write and perform a skit or puppet play.
- 15. Have them write and organize a scavenger hunt for a play date.
If none of these ideas strike your fancy, here are a few more ideas!
Of course, they should have some time reading each day, and here are a few great reading programs:
- 1. Your local library program
- 2. Barnes and Noble summer reading progam
- 3. Half-Price Books summer reading progam
- 4. More reading programs are listed HERE.
Summer is also great for all those outdoor activities such as:
- 2. DIY sidewalk paint
- 3. sprinkler fun
- 4. water balloon fights
- 5. walking to your neighborhood parks
- 6. having picnic lunches
- 7. visiting a petting zoo
- 8. swimming
- 9. going on bike rides!
- 10. Here is a great list of 51 Free (or Almost Free) Outdoor Summer Activities in Your Own Backyard.
Then there are a ton of crafty ideas like:
- 4. making jewelry
- 5. finger paint creations