Summer instantly feels like freedom and endless possibilities to a kid, but the reality is, summer can bring more free time than you or your kids know what to do with. I harnessed some babysitting knowledge and polled my mom friends to come up with a list of 15 great activities to do this summer. So whether you’re looking to bust the boredom or just make some memories with the children in your life, try these ideas!
1. Read a chapter book aloud.
Choose a chapter book that’s just one reading level higher than your child actually reads. Then pick a special time of day and read one chapter aloud. If their attention span is short, just read for a set amount of time, maybe 10-15 minutes. Leave a little time to talk about what you read and what the kids thought about it!
2. Crafts, crafts, crafts!
No doubt about it, crafts are a pretty instant boredom busters for many ages! Whether it’s finger paints, a full-on craft kit from the store, or just some construction paper, glue, and macaroni, encourage some creativity! Let them get their hands dirty and get busy for a while. You’ll be surprised how much they love it!
3. Challenge them to a block battle!
This was one of the best babysitting tricks I figured out one summer. The kids were too old for the colorful block set in the play room, but we re-vamped it! Divide the blocks up evenly, then appoint one person to be the judge. Have the judge pick a category like, “amusement park,” “animals,” or “outer space.” Then set a timer. The others compete to see who can build the best rendition of the theme before the timer runs out! Have the judge examine each design, pick out some good things about each one, then crown a winner. Now that person gets to be the judge! You’ll be surprised how differently each person interprets the same theme!
Don’t have a set of blocks? Substitute for another set of objects or grab some off Amazon here!
4. Start a lemonade stand – with purpose!
If your kids are older, why not help them start a small business? One mom said, “My boys are doing a lemonade stand – it takes time, puts them on a schedule, and helps them decide whether or not they like entrepreneurial work. It also teaches them the value of a dollar and making wise investments. It’s a low cost/high value investment. And, it beats summer boredom!” If you want to teach them something extra, let each kid pick out a charity or ministry to invest in at the end of the summer.
5. Adopt pet rocks!
Go outside and search for a medium-sized rock. Once each child has one, go inside and have them rinse it off while you set up some simple painting supplies. Let them design and create a little creature out of their rock! Give each child a pair of googly eyes and tell them to paint their pet however they want. While this activity alone could take up an entire afternoon, get more mileage out of this one. Each day, encourage each child to create a scene featuring their pet or write a story about what their pet did that day.
6. Sign up for a summer reading program.
Ask your local library if they are running a summer reading program and sign up! If that doesn’t work out, just make your own! Create a list of books for your kids to read and set a reward for certain amounts of reading! Create a chart, stick it on the fridge, and let them check it off as they go.
7. Get baking – to bless others!
Let the kids spend a day in the kitchen! And while it’s great fun to make sweets for yourself and your own family, encourage them to make a container for a friend or neighbor. Use it as a chance to teach them about encouraging others.
8. Time for swimming lessons?
My mom never felt super comfortable in the water growing up, so as soon as we were old enough, she signed us up for swimming lessons. It turned into one of our favorite parts of the summer! We looked forward to those couple of weeks every year. It got us out of the house, to the pool, and around new friends. We often made a day of it with a picnic lunch afterward or going out for ice cream! Not only are you equipping your kids with a valuable life skill, but you’re creating great summer memories! (And filling up a whole 1-2 weeks of potential summer boredom!)
9. Join your local VBS!
A lot of churches host a week-long Vacation Bible School full of friends, crafts, songs, and Jesus! Maybe your church is one of them. You can drop the kids off and get a little break or make a it a chance to serve alongside your kids and volunteer for the week!
10. Make pizza together!
Let them choose the toppings and create their own pizza! Who wouldn’t want to do that? Plus, it will take up more time and require much more creative thinking from the kiddos than just ordering one.
11. On rainy days – it’s blanket fort time!
Challenge your kids to make the most awesome blanket fort ever! Give them free reign on a set of blankets, sheets, and chairs and see who they do. Afterwards, have an inside picnic and let them get to work on their summer in their new fort.
12. Sidewalk chalk challenge
Pulling out the sidewalk chalk is a boredom buster in itself! So, start there, then get creative! Challenge them to write out their favorite Bible verse or draw their favorite movie or book characters.
13. Eat a meal backwards.
Change things up a bit! Eat backwards starting with dessert, moving onto the main course, then finishing off with an appetizer!
14. A good old-fashioned puzzle and an audio book
Take a step back and help your kids learn the art of being still. Find some puzzles of different levels, maybe you can even let the kids pick out some with fun pictures! Then pick out an audio book or radio drama and let them listen and build. I suggest trying Adventures in Odyssey, The Chronicles of Narnia Series, Anne of Green Gables, or Little Women. This is something they can do for hours at a time or come back to every so often when they’re looking for something to do.
15. Go on a nature walk.
It would do us all good to get outside! Just simply going for a stroll and enjoying the scenery is enough, but if you want to make it a little more interesting, create a scavenger hunt or ask the kids to pick out the most interesting thing they see to tell about when you get back.
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If she’s not reading a blog, she’s probably writing one and if she’s not scrolling through stories on social media, she’s probably out creating her own.
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