The words bored and summer vacation almost sounds like an oxymoron because most kids look forward to the end of the school year and can’t wait to start summer break. They typically dream of the carefree days ahead of them for a couple of months.
No alarm clocks, no homework and no sitting hours a day inside the classroom. Instead these hours are filled with lounging around, video games and doing whatever they want to do. This thrilled excitement of relishing in doing “nothing” usually lasts a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks, tops.
The day inevitably arrives when suddenly sprawling out on the couch with no activity isn’t so fun anymore. If your kids are like most, you’re beginning to hear “Mom, I’m bored!” or “Dad, there’s nothing to do around here!”
Here are a few ideas you can try in order to curb the summer glum:
Chances are your kids may be bored with the local playgrounds (although this is always a good alternative to lounging on the couch!), and if this is the case try jumping online and do a search to see what else is out there.
Perhaps you already know of a few, or maybe there is another town, country or state park nearby that your family has never visited. You might be surprised at what might be right in your backyard.
Once you find the perfect location, pack a picnic lunch, some outdoor toys and head out to the great wilderness to play, hike, swim or whatever else sparks your kids’ attention.
While you’re scoping out parks, why not also toss a few other interesting phrases into search engines and see what you come up with. Even a search like “Fun things to do with kids in” and include the general area you live in can yield a ton of ideas. You may discover there is a zoo, museum or other interesting landmark not too far away.
Another thing you can try is “getting lost” and pick a day to make an adventure. Choose a road or highway in a direction of your preference and see where it leads; you never know what you may stumble upon. A word of advice is to pack some games, books or other item your children can use while in the car. Don’t forget to include lots of snacks!
*Visit with Friends and Family
Summertime is the perfect time to visit family or friends you don’t get to see during the hectic school year. Why not try calling a few special people in your life and see if they want to come visit you of if you can come to them. If they are far away, perhaps there is an in-between destination you can meet at.
Inviting school friends over is usually a good choice. While kids look forward to everything about school free days, typically they do miss their friends. Having some friends over on a regular basis is a terrific way to curb boredom.
If you are a working parent and don’t have the luxury of heading out to the parks or other day trips you can always explore camps. Nowadays there are camps for practically every interest and activity and many of them include children up to the age of 16.
Search you parks and recreation department, schools and other organizations that may offer camps and include your children’s niche interests. You’re bound to find something they’ll enjoy.
If a full camp program is either too expensive or time intensive, consider short term camps. Many regions offer 1-2 week camps where you can sign up for limited amounts of time. This allows for some structured and out of the house time and also affords time home to unwind and “be bored”.
Older kids may enjoy the opportunity to volunteer. They’ll get out of the house, help others and also likely make new friends or future job connections. Volunteering is a great way to offer teens something with their time that is both constructive and fun.
*Arts and Crafts
Are your children artistically inclined? If so, take a trip over to your local craft store and see what kinds of projects you and the kids can do over the summer? You can try painting and drawing, build a birdhouse, make homemade play-doh; the options are truly limitless.
*Leagues or Classes
Many towns or counties offer summer classes in the evenings when its cooler or to fit the convenience of parents’ work schedules. One of your local towns may have a basketball, softball or volleyball league. Maybe the local library has story time or art classes. You never know what’s out there.
Check with your community resources and see if there isn’t some kind of league or class that would spark your children’s various interests. Even though some classes are at night, it still breaks up the summer monotony.
Summer boredom is not uncommon. Year after year most kids are excited over summer break but quickly become bored. The key is keep them from being too bored is to try and design activities towards their interests.