Towards the end of the summer, all kids begin to get extremely bored and are ready to go back to school whether they admit it or not. You can easily tell when they’re ready to go back to school because they get antsy, very whiny and just seem like they have nothing left to do during the day. While some states are getting ready to send their kids back to school within the next week, some of us still have until after Labor Day for school to start. Here are some easy solutions to keep bored kids amused during these last (possibly torturous) weeks of summer.
Get Them Unplugged
When kids are bored they’re more inclined to sit in front of the TV for hours, play electronic games, spend more time on their mobile devices or sit on the computer for way too long. It’s important to get them unplugged and limit TV, computer or electronic time so they can actually do activities that promote learning and development. They may hate you for a short period of time, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Start Some Baking
Spend some together time doing a baking project. Bake some cookies, brownies, a cake, etc… Boredom can be a great time to spend more time with your kids before they go back to school and get busy with their regular activities during the school year.
Get a Boredom Box Together
Anticipating this would happen before school ended I went to the dollar store and got some things together to make a Boredom Box to give to my kids once the end of summer boredom hit. These boxes can be very inexpensive if you visit dollar stores, Michaels, Target Dollar Spot and Five Below to get some fun bargains for your kids. Mine contains:
- Coloring Books (Adult coloring books for my oldest)
- Markers, Colored Pencils and Crayons
- Games (I get these from Five Below)
- Craft Sets (From Five Below and Michaels)
- Construction Paper (Michaels)
- Stickers (Dollar Store, Michaels and Five Below)
This can be filled with anything that you think your kids would enjoy during those boring times when they can’t figure out what to do with themselves towards the end of the summer.
Puzzles are great because they promote thinking and strategy. My kids absolutely love to do puzzles because of the challenge and these keep them busy for over an hour depending on how difficult the puzzle is. You can also join your kids putting a puzzle together and actually have some family time.
When I was younger kids used to play outside all of the time. For some reason, kids don’t necessarily do that anymore probably because technology has taken over our lives and the lives of our children. Getting them outside and getting some exercise isn’t only good for boredom, it’s good for your health and the health of your children. Take them to the park, play in the backyard or invite some of their friends over to play outside; just get outside for a little bit. Not only will this reduce boredom, but it will also get some of their energy out so they get tired easier.
Board games can be great for when kids are bored during the summer. You can spend some quality time with your kids, teaching them new games and sharing some of the classic games that you may still have from when you were a kid. Kids get so wrapped up in technology and the games that they play on phones and the computer that they forget or don’t realize how fun board games can be.
Take this opportunity to do some flash cards with your kids or an educational workbook. I would turn this into a game by having small rewards for each answer they get right. My mom used to do this with me when I was a kid and I do this now with my kids. While they may not want to do this on their own, if you turn it into a game they will be more receptive to the idea. Another idea is reading with your kids. Take turns reading sentences, paragraphs or even chapters Sometimes the best times are the times that you spend reading with your kids.
Urge Kids to Be Creative
Boredom sparks creativity and that’s a great thing. As an artist, I think every child should have a creative outlet and should be inspired to be a creative person. When kids are bored they can begin to find creativity in just about everything. They might decide to turn a cardboard box into a house or a space ship, they may want to create a robot with Legos or they may want to create another masterpiece. There are unlimited projects that you can create with your kids and here are some suggestions:
- Sock puppets
- Collages (Or vision/inspiration boards for older kids)
- Painting/Finger Painting
I found this great link from Good Housekeeping that contains some great crafts for bored kids.