Snow is covering the ground, temperatures are dipping below freezing and you can barely see your kids’ faces under their hats, scarves and earmuffs. It might be hard to believe right now, but summer vacation is coming up fast. While you are looking forward to warmer temperatures, you can already hear your kids whining “I’m borrrrred. There’s nothing to dooooooo.”
To prevent summertime boredom, start planning indoor and outdoor activities now. If you need some inspiration, check out these fun boredom busters:
Make Summer Bucket Lists
Teach your kids about the importance of setting goals with a summer bucket list. Sit down with them and explain that, even though summer vacation might seem like it's a million years away, you want them to think ahead and write down their ideas for summer break activities. Encourage them to jot down anything they like, from trying out new recipes to weekly library trips to plenty of swimming. The lists should give you great ideas to work from, and they may surprise you with their creativity and desire to do some inexpensive activities.
Paint a Chalkboard Wall
Most kids love drawing on chalkboards. With a few dollars worth of chalkboard paint (you can pick it up at your local craft store or at a big box store like Target), have your kids help you transform a door or section of a wall into a chalkboard. Supply them with plenty of colorful chalk and some erasers and let them play tic-tac-toe and hangman and draw to their heart's content.
Try a New Sport
While endless afternoons at the backyard or neighborhood pool are great ways to pass the time, encourage your kiddos to try a new sport this summer. Take them to the local ice skating rink for hockey or figure skating lessons (the frigid air will feel great in July), or check out your community center for dance, karate or T-ball.
Ask your kids what activities they want to try, and encourage them in whatever they choose. For instance, if your son or daughter announces they want to try skateboarding, go shopping together for the needed accessories, including a skateboard or longboard, helmet and proper skate shoes.
Make Lego Gummies
If your kids love playing with Lego bricks, spend an afternoon making Lego gummy candies out of Jell-O. YouTube has a great video on how to make the colorful and tasty gummies that your kids can stack into structures or enjoy eating. Go shopping for the different colors of Jell-O, and if you have a Lego store in your area, pick up some Lego ice cube trays in the shape of minifigures.
Open a Business
Kids love making money. Ask your budding entrepreneurs to come up with ways they can earn some cash this summer. Ideas include a sidewalk lemonade stand and a dog walking or washing service. Older kids can babysit or mow lawns. The work will keep them happily occupied, teach them responsibility and show them how great it feels to earn money. They might make enough to buy a coveted toy or a special treat, which could help ward off boredom even more.