Some parents are lucky to be able to stay home with the kiddos during the summer. It can be a great time for kids and parents, but we’d be lying to ourselves if we didn’t admit to a little bit of parental stress now and then. It can be stressful for those that stay home to come up with new ideas, activities and boredom busters to keep little ones (and big ones) entertained through the summer.
Add in the cost of going to museums, water parks and movies, summer camp and other activities and a parent can spend a small fortune for the next three months.
Here are a few ideas to beat back boredom this summer and they don’t cost a lot of money. Plus, look for a free project to store favorite books. Don’t forget to leave a list of your favorite activities during the summer!
Visit a local farm. Many of these farms don’t cost anything to enter. You can pick in season fruit, veggies and even flowers. Most farms in my area are organic and do charge a fee for whatever you pick. Some have hay rides, petting zoos and even classes to learn about farm life. Kids love and benefit from these visits!
Go to the library. This really is something you’re already doing. It’s such a great place to not only start a love of reading but the quiet (and cool) atmosphere is a good way to refresh yourself and the kids.
Build a fort in the backyard. I visited my local fabric store and purchased four yards of clearance tagged sturdy fabric. I cut the fabric in half and sewed it together. I then placed it over the clothes line and secured each corner with bricks. Instant tent. I also draped the fabric over the four foot fence for a more cozier fort. If you live near a wooded area you’ll be amazed at how long they can spend building up a fortress.
Make a few extra bucks. Even the kids can get in on this. Many cities have consumer research firms that are always looking for kids of all ages to test consumer goods from milk to toys. Many of these are paid. Use Google to find one near you.
Go fly a kite! All you need is a kite (or if your really handy and creative you could make your own!) and some wind (and open space).
Backyard camping. I have nephews in high school that we routinely kick out of the house and have them sleep in the tent in the backyard. Age depending it’s a great way to give mom and dad a little space too. Plus, summer nights can be a lot cooler outside under the stars.
Play in a fountain. If you don’t want to make a huge big day of going to a swimming pool or water park do something equally fun and less hassle. Many cities and suburbs have public water fountains for kids to run through. Built for the purpose to run through and get soaked these fountains are attractive to all ages. And, they’re a great way to cool down.
Use those gift cards and certificates! Do you remember all those gift cards your mother-in-law gave you from last year? Now’s the time to go and spend them! Take the kiddos out to lunch, or go buy a fun snack.
Visit grandparents, aunts and uncles! This is another easy tip. If you’re lucky enough to have close relatives near by take them up on a sleep over for the kids. A weekend a way will revive you and give you some ‘me’ time.
Pack a picnic and head out to a park that you’ve always wanted to visit. Maybe it’s further out of town than usual. Time it just right and the kids will be ready for nap time when you get home.
Go on a hike. Another no brainer here. For the smallest of kids simply going outside to a small open space will bring a world of wonder to their minds. I’m fortunate to have a huge open space nearby. There are ponds, dirt paths, hills and grassy areas to explore. Best to go in early mornings or after 5 when the sun is not at it’s peak.
Sew. Come on, I couldn’t do this post without bringing some sewing and creating to the table! Here’s some ideas that you can combine your love of sewing with while entertaining little folks.
- Build an activity mat. If your kids love cars and trains build an activity mat where they can entertain themselves driving their cars and trucks around.
- Start a new hobby. If the kids are old enough start showing them how to sew. Maybe there are other kids in the neighborhood that would love to learn too for a fun group activity.
- Get ready for school. Carve out time every day for reading time. Find a free project here to make a fabric book keeper to keep all you favorite titles in easy reach.
- Learn to tell time. Stitch up this fun clock and teach your kids to tell time.
Be sure to leave a comment on how you like to spend the summers with your kids, grand kids, nieces, nephews etc. Or, leave tips for boredom busters.
All Images: Getty Images