It seems to be that we are hitting the long dog-days of summer. I don’t know about where you live, but we have had some really hot days here. And with that it seems like we can get lazier and lazier and getting the kids to go outside is harder and harder.
The kids can sit and do nothing…
My kids are at an age where I no longer need to entertain them, but at the same time they can sit around do a whole lot of nothing. Opting to sleep or watch TV. So to keep them engaged I will throw out ideas that (hopefully) they like and respond to.
So what to do? Well, here is a short list of easy and free (or very cheap, if you don’t have the supplies) ideas to fill some time and notch up the fun factor. The following list contains ideas to be done at home – both inside and outside activities. I have already shared activities to get out and do, and activities to help your kids keep up their learning, so this list is really just ideas for the kids to keep busy when they just want to do nothing – or when they start whining about being bored.
A Dozen (Mostly) Free Summer Boredom Busters
1) Collect rocks and paint your own pet rocks! Depending on your supply of craft items – the kids can get very creative!
2) Build a homemade slip-in-slide – My kids have raided the garage in the past and can often find some large tarps. They will also use the foam pool floats and line them up end to end. Any type of heavy duty plastic and a water hose will work. While you can buy ready to set up slip-in-slides at the store, building the slip-in-slide has always been half the fun for my kids. If a slip-in-slide won’t work in your yard, then turn on the sprinklers and have a fun time running through the water.
3) Set up a lemonade stand. Design a stand, make some posters, mix up the lemonade, and sell away!
4) Pull out a large jigsaw puzzle. My kids will all take a turn at any jigsaw puzzle that I set out on the dinning room table. If I think it will take a while to complete (1000 piece puzzle) I will put it on a card table as as not to monopolize the dining room table.
5) Speaking of monopolizing- get a game of Monopoly going! This can fill hours, and the kids love a good game.
6) Build something out of mini-marshmallows and toothpicks. Just lay out the supplies and let their imaginations take over.
7) Build a house of cards. Pull out a few decks of cards and see how tall of a tower they can build! Or go outside and stack rocks. See what kind of creation they can make.
8) Make a new recipe. Some recipes will take adult supervision, but some can be done completely by kids. This also depends on the ages of your children. One of the very first recipes that I learned how to make was tacos – I felt so grown up learning what it meant to “brown the ground beef.” Pita pizzas in a toaster oven or grilled cheese are good ones to start with. All my kids love to cook!
9) Sing Karaoke – No Karaoke machine needed simply look to You Tube for appropriate songs with lyrics, grab a wooden spoon, and sing away!
10) Create a Movie Poster – Have your child design and color a movie poster where they are the star complete with the title of the movie.
11) Build a fort of blankets and have an afternoon of reading. This is a fun and relaxing way to spend some time.
12) Make ice-cream in a can: The kids always have fun with this one. Once the work is done – they get to eat the ice cream!
Ice Cream in a Can Recipe
- 1 c. Milk
- 1 c. Whipping Cream or Half & Half
- 1⁄2 c. Sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 lb. metal coffee can with tight fitting plastic lid
- 3 lb. metal coffee with tight fitting plastic lid
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Rubber scraper
- Ice cream scoop
- Masking or Duct tape
- Crushed Ice
- Rock salt
- Put milk, cream, sugar and vanilla in 1 lb. coffee can. Place plastic lid on the can. Be certain the lid is on tight. You may want to secure the lid with masking or duct tape.
- Put the smaller can into the large can. Pack crushed ice around the smaller can, inside the larger can.
- Pour at least 3⁄4 cup of rock salt evenly over the ice.
- Place the lid on the larger can. If you have extra lids, place one on the bottom side also. This will help it roll better.
- Roll the can back and forth with a friend, or in our case sibling, for 10 minutes. Best to do this outside.
- Open the larger can. Remove the small can. Remove the lids and stir ingredients with a rubber scraper. Be sure to scrape the inside of the small can really well. (Do not let any of the ice or ice water get into the small can.)
- Drain the ice water from the large can. Put the small can back in the large can and pack in ice and salt like in step 3.
- Roll back and forth for about 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is frozen.
- Now open the large can and remove the small can. Scoop the ice cream into serving bowls and enjoy!
So there you have it – a dozen (mostly) free summer boredom busters! Summer is slipping away and yes, before you know it the kids will be back in school. I am trying to make the most of my summer days before I, too, am back in the classroom.
What ideas do you have to keep you kids busy at home during the summer?