You know it’s coming. After the initial excitement over summer vacation wears off, there is a gradual descent into restlessness, followed by the daily whining cry of kids saying, “I’m bored.”
If you’re dreading the thought of having to keep your kids entertained all summer long, then we’re here to help.
How to Avoid Hearing Kids Say “I’m Bored”
With some fun ideas and a few easy laid out plans, you and your kids will have the best summer together. It might even become your favorite time of year again.
In the summer, routines often cease to exist. At first this may seem appealing. But then kids can start getting bored.
Maybe your kids go to bed whenever they choose, wake up whenever they feel like, and eat all hours of the day? Do you end up in a constant battle trying to keep your kids from wanting to play video games 24/7?
To avoid these common pitfalls of summer vacation, it’s important to establish a typical daily routine.
It might seem counterintuitive, but having and maintaining a routine is one of the best ways to keep boredom at bay for your kids.
The routine doesn’t need to be strict. You can still leave them room for free time and free play, but they should know that there are a few things expected of them each day.
Need ideas on what types of activities and things to add to your kids’ summer routines? Well keep reading, because we’ve put together a list of 7 different activities to fill your kids’ summer days.
If it’s play time all the time, then kids often become restless and unsatisfied. Balance out all the free time, by entrusting your kids with daily and weekly chores.
With everyone home more during the summer, the house gets messy and unorganized much faster than when the kids are in school. Make sure your kids understand they are responsible for helping to keep the house clean and organized.
Giving them age appropriate chores to complete will help teach them about working together as a group toward a common goal – of a clean house.
You might want to look into creating a chore chart as a family. Check out our posts here.
Learn a New Project
Summer is the perfect time for your kids to focus on the topics and activities that interest them, but that aren’t taught as part of the regular curriculum in school.
Maybe you have a child who’s interested in cake decorating, makeup, fashion, model cars, animals, sewing, drawing, photography, or other crafts?
Challenge your children to explore and work on their individual interests during summer break, by having them complete some sort of “project” related to their chosen interest.
Go to the library and check out books related to what they’re interested in.
Help them find YouTube videos or channels related to the project they’ve chosen to complete.
If you can afford it, you might consider splurging a little on supplies they might need to immerse themselves fully into the chosen project.
After a few weeks, hold a “show and tell” party where they can show off the things they’ve learned or created. Invite grandparents or cousins over to see their projects or have your children do a presentation to the family on what they’ve learned.
This will help your kids to realize that “learning” isn’t something that’s exclusive to school.
Discuss with them how each of us can be lifetime-learners. You might be surprised just how excited your kids are about the topics they’ve chosen.
Summer Bucket List
One of my all time favorite summer traditions is creating a Summer Bucket list together.
If you’ve never heard of it, a Summer Bucket List is a list of activities and things to do before summer ends.
It’s the perfect way to create family memories and to give your kids something to look forward to each week.
Learn more about how to create your own Summer Bucket List by reading here. Or if you need help with ideas on what activities to put on your Summer Bucket List, then click here.
Arts and Crafts
Plan a weekly arts and crafts project to do together as a family.
You could try rock art, rock painting, tye dye, and do classic sidewalk chalk.
It doesn’t always have to be expensive or time consuming.
After a while, your kids may even take the reins and create their own arts and crafts.
Check out our post here for more ideas on family arts and crafts.
Family Summer Time Treats
Make a family summertime treat once a week.
This could include things like: homemade ice cream and homemade popsicles, ice cream sandwich cakes, homemade snow cones or just a trip to the local ice shack.
Be sure to check out our post all about Family Friendly Summertime Drinks. This includes everything from how to make an Orange Julius, to Frozen Hot Chocolate, and virgin Pina Coladas.
Part of your kids daily routine that we talked about above could include “reading time”.
Take them to the library for the afternoon and let them choose their own books. Explore both fiction and nonfiction.
Summer is the perfect time to look to see if your neighborhood has a Free Little Library, where you can donate old books for new ones.
When it comes to reading time, you might want to all sit down together and have “family reading time” every day. You can all read the same book or everyone can read their own books individually.
Or you might let your kids decide when they want to read each day, but try to have them read for at least a half hour.
Talk to your kids about what they are reading. You could even have them complete mini book reports to share with the family.
Check out our post on How to Make Summer Reading Fun.
Getting out of the house and into a new environment might be exactly what everyone in the family needs to relax and recharge. And it will definitely keep your kids from saying “I’m bored!”.
Going on vacations together as a family often creates lifelong memories.
And vacations don’t necessarily have to be large or expensive.
Try planning a small camping trip or even just a weekend get away with your family this summer.
If you’re new to camping, or new to camping with kids, check out our posts here.
Family “Field Trips”
“Family field trips” are another great way to get out of the house, but without having to worry about packing bags or overnight accommodations.
You could go to local tourist attractions, historical sites, or visit the closest zoo or aquarium. Maybe try visiting a fish hatchery or a star gazing observatory. Your family could go swimming or visit the closest splash pad.
Be sure to check out our Fun Family Summer Activities post for more ideas.
It would be really fun for your kids if some of your family field trips revolved around the topics of interest they’ve decided to study for the summer.
For example, if your daughter has been studying cake decorating all summer, then maybe you could set up a visit to a bakery or professional cake creator.
Remember, while it may be tempting to pack your kids’ summer schedules full, unfortunately boredom is a part of life and it’s important for kids to learn how to manage and overcome boredom by themselves. Kids can learn to keep from saying “I’m bored”.
Each kid will obviously be able to handle different levels and amounts of boredom depending on their age and temperament. But if your kids can learn to use boredom as a launching pad into creative and positive ventures, then this skill will serve them their entire lives.