Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Boredom Busters for Kids-Summer Edition

How many of you have heard the phrase, "I'm bored!" from your child this summer? Or how about, "There's nothing to do!" I'm sure as summer is winding down, we've all heard these and many more common childhood phrases too many times to count. Are you running out of ideas to keep your kids occupied and off screens? I've complied a list of five great ideas to get you through these last weeks of summer. Many of the ideas provide fun as well as some good life lessons along the way, a win-win for everyone! Every mom deserves a couple whine free weeks of summer, so check these out.

one...Kids in the Kitchen. Put your child in charge of a meal. Dig out any cookbooks you own for your child to look through. Check out kids cookbooks from the library, or browse recipes online. Have them come up with a menu for dinner. They should create a shopping list of ingredients needed to make the meal. Have them check items in the pantry to see what they can use from home, and what needs to be purchased. You could even go as far as giving them a budget for the meal (for older elementary age kids) to teach them to stay within a budget. Have them prepare the meal, cook, set the table, and clean up. You can supervise in the kitchen but let your child take the lead and give them ownership. It's great to start teaching them how to budget, shop, cook, and clean up at an early age. They will be going off to college before you know it! It's fun for them, and a great teaching experience.

two...Raise Money for Missions or a Charity Organization--Popsicle Stand or Lemonade Stand. I asked my friend Kari if I could share her, and her kids, amazing idea. During the week of VBS (Vacation Bible School) Kari's kids set up a popsicle stand to raise money for the missions offering, to build a well in Haiti at Fellowship School of Hope. What a great idea to beat boredom while raising money for a good cause all at the same time. I was so proud to hear what Kari's kids had done, and during the hottest week of summer to date in Kansas City!

This is a perfect teaching moment, to talk about the many blessings we have and how we can live to bless others.  Have the kids brainstorm ways to help others, and then let them take ownership to follow through on their idea. It will have such an impact not only on others, but them as well!

three. Creek Walk or Explore Nature. It's easy to spend too much time indoors. Many of my great childhood memories occurred outside, in the summer. I want my kids to get out, from behind the TV, and have fun outside. To explore, to get dirty, and have fun outdoor adventures. The creek or nature trail is the perfect outdoor classroom, full of cool experiences and lessons around every corner. Plus, it's a free activity with unique experiences each trip.

four. Water Balloons and Water Games.
1. Set up pool rafts, rings, and floats around the yard as targets. Have the kids line up at a certain spot and see how many balloons hit the target.
2. Use sidewalk chalk to create targets on your driveway or sidewalk (big circles with point values) have each child go one at a time and total up their points to see who is the winner.
3. Water balloon fight. Honestly, this was one of the activities my kids loved the most. A great way to cool off and get some exercise at the same time. Who does not love a good ole' water balloon fight?
4. Fun in the sprinkler. We set up the ball sprinkler and my boys created a slip-n-slide, all on their own, with our big dinosaur raft (that had been a target for idea #1 above). At first, the mom side of me wanted to stop them. I didn't want them to pop the raft or to get hurt, but as I watched and monitored them, I was impressed with their ingenuity. They had beat the boredom and come up with something I had not even thought of, all on their own. Being bored is not a bad thing! Boredom can cause children to use creativity and their imaginations.

five. Pool Party. Yes, I know, you've probably been to the pool a hundred times this summer. It's a great activity to get kids out of the house and active (great for their health). So, why not find a way to make the pool feel new again even at the end of summer? Plan a fun pool party. This doesn't have to be anything elaborate. Pick a theme, here's a few fun ideas (50's, Christmas, 80's, Evening Swim with glow sticks, Little Mermaid or Pirate). Create a fun playlist of music on Spotify or Amazon Prime Music to play at your party, or have a dance off. When I say party, it could be as simple as you and your child. Or invite friends if you would like. If your pool allows outside snacks think of some easy snack ideas that would fit your theme. At our Christmas in July pool party we enjoyed watermelon that had been cut into the shape of Christmas trees, featured HERE, and these melted snowman cookies, find the recipe HERE. Simple, easy, but what was old is new again by changing it up just a little.

I hope this list of activities can help provide many hours of fun over the remaining weeks of summer. Do you have another boredom buster idea? Please share in the comments below or on the Facebook post, so we can add to the list. Also, tag me in your summer boredom buster fun, I'd love to see!

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