School’s Out Awesome Activities to Keep Kids Busy & Boredom-Free
The summer season is upon us once again, with all its treasured and time-honored traditions: Backyard barbeques. Outdoor sports. Festive pool parties. Children whining in unison the universal mantra of school break: “I’m bored!” Whether you’re a stay-at-home or working parent, keeping your kids occupied when they’re out of the school routine is not for the faint of heart. Endless trips to the zoo, movie theater or other entertainment venues can get costly…quickly. And sitting around for hours with the TV or a tablet isn’t an ideal remedy. So, how can you keep boredom at bay without breaking the bank? Try a few of these fun, low-cost activities to keep your children engaged and entertained (and your own sanity intact).
“PICK” THE BUCKET
Kids can be hugely imaginative, but oftentimes that ingenuity goes right out the window when you ask them to “find something to do.” A simple solution: create an activity bucket with ideas written on slips of paper, and have your kids draw one or more of them daily. Include everything from making homemade ice cream to building a fort in the living room. Make it easy on yourself by sticking to activities that use only materials you’ve got on hand.
CINEMA UNDER THE STARS
Why go to the theater when you can host a movie night alfresco? The only must-have items are a laptop, projector and a speaker (plus one or two kid-friendly flicks). Everything else is dictated by your available space and personal taste. Set up chairs, but also provide lots of comfy blankets and pillows to lounge on. Go with standard popcorn-and-candy movie fare or try out some easy to eat finger foods (sliders, bite-sized cheeses, mini-cupcakes, etc.). Fill a metal tub with ice and lots of cold beverages, and you’re all set for the screening!
You probably spend 90% of your time telling your kids not to make a mess. But rules are made to be broken, and shaving cream bomb fights are a great excuse to shatter the usual stipulations. Simply fill water balloons with shaving cream (not too full, or they may pop), tie them loosely and place in a large bowl. Once you’ve got enough for the kids to play with, let them go wild outside! And clean-up is a snap: just spray the areas covered with shaving cream with water and it will dissolve instantly.
Want to get your kids hooked on a healthy pastime? Gardening is the way to go. Talk to local gardening pros about which fruits, veggies or flowers are easiest to grow in your area. But be sure to give your children lots of autonomy with this project. The more they’re involved with choosing the plants and layout of their garden, the more likely they’ll be to keep up with weeding, watering and other important maintenance.
Summer camps can be off the menu when you’re on a budget. But local parks and recreation departments often run reasonably priced day camps filled with activities that get your kids outside and burning pent-up energy. Even if your local department isn’t actually hosting a camp, it’s likely they’re offering some inexpensive or free summer events you can attend as a family.
Give a few of these innovative ideas a whirl, and watch your stress-free summer unfold with ease!
KEY DATES IN JUNE:
- JUNE 1: National Doughnut Day
- JUNE 10: National Nursing Assistants Day
- JUNE 14: Flag Day
- JUNE 17: Father’s Day
- JUNE 18: International Picnic Day
- JUNE 21: National Selfie Day
- JUNE 22: Take Your Dog to Work Day