Summer’s almost here, so you know the inevitable is bound to happen: at some point, your kids will complain that they’re bored. Here are 10 fun-for-the-whole-family suggestions to fight boredom.
11 What’s Cooking?
You’ve gotta eat, right? Why not give the kids control of the kitchen? Encourage older kids to study cookbooks or recipes online. Check the fridge and pantry, plan a shopping list, and buy the ingredients together. When you get home, let the kids create their dishes. (Younger kids can be sous chefs.)
If you have any Food Network fans in the house, they can get inspired by watching shows like “The Kids Baking Championship,” and “Rachel vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off.” If you’re feeling adventurous, maybe you can have an at-home version of “Chopped”: give the kids a set of ingredients and allow them to create their own original recipe.
10 Get Crafty
Pinterest is full of arts and crafts activities for kids of all ages. Painting with squirt guns or water balloons is a lot of fun, and a lot of mess. Another fun but messy art activity is making your own modeling clay. Combine art and STEM learning with these STEAM activities. And, there’s always good ol’ fashioned sidewalk chalk.
9 Clean, Declutter, and Donate
8 Your kids probably won’t be thrilled if you tell them they need to spend the day cleaning their room, but perhaps they’ll be a little more inclined to declutter if they are helping you prep for a garage sale where they can earn a cut of your profits. Or, perhaps you can encourage students to donate gently used items to a charity. You can even schedule a convenient time for your donations to be picked up right at your house.
7 Get Your Hands Dirty
Who doesn’t love getting their hands dirty once in a while? Now’s the time to weed out those flower beds, so get the kids to help. Weeding might be the boring part, but once your area is prepped, kids love picking out and planting flowers, seeds, and vegetables. Allow each kid to pick a plant or an area of the garden where they are in charge, and watch their flowers—and their interest in nature—bloom!
6 Do Some Research
If your kid has a specific interest, (maybe they are into space travel, or maybe they keep asking you to get a pet) give them a research notebook and let them explore the library. KidRex.org is an easy to use, kid-safe search engine. Give them time to research their interests and let them become an expert in that area. They can show off their newfound knowledge with pictures, stories, and presentations. And, when they go back to school in the fall, they’ll have a lot to share with their teacher and classmates.
5 Try Geocaching
You could plan a scavenger hunt in the house or around your neighborhood, or, you and the kids could go geocaching. Geocaching is basically a global treasure hunt. Participants hide the treasures, or caches, around town, and you can use the geocaching website and the app on your phone to try to locate them. When you find the cache, you sign a log to prove you’ve found it. There may even be treasures for you to take, but if you take something, it’s usually good geocaching etiquette to leave something else for the next person who finds it.
4 Family Film Festival
You might not want your kids spending all their time in front of the TV this summer, but sometimes it’s fun to camp out in the living room and watch your family favorites. Allow each member to pick their favorite movie. Or, introduce your kids to some of your favorites from when you were a kid. 80s classics like “Big,” “The Goonies,” or “Back to the Future” would be fun for older kids. For younger ones, try some old Disney favorites like “Snow White,” “The Fox and the Hound,” and “Robin Hood.”
3 Minute to Win It
Encourage some friendly competition in your family by creating your own version of “Minute to Win It.” Games like “Defying Gravity” require blowing up three balloons and keeping them off the ground for sixty seconds. In the game “Face the Cookie,” you have to balance an Oreo on your forehead, and then try to get the cookie into your mouth using only your facial muscles, no hands. Most “Minute to Win It” games are simple and require very little prep, but they are tons of fun to play and watch.
2 Day Trip
Why not hop in the car and visit one of those places in town that you’ve always wondered about? Visit local museums, gardens, and parks. With a full tank of gas and some snacks for the road, you and the family can spend the day being hometown tourists.
1 Get Some Fresh Air
Last but not least, just get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and fresh air. Play in the pool or go for walks and ride bikes around the neighborhood. Even better, locate a walking or hiking trail in your area. Take a picnic and make sure you have the camera. Hiking in a state park is a great way to capture some awesome family photos and make memories your family will always treasure.