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It never takes long for the summer boredom to set in. Most years it seems we barely close the books for the school year, and I’m already hearing things like, “I’m so bored,” and, “There’s nothing to do!” If I turn off the videos and say no to the gaming, it’s even worse!
Sometimes the mean, vindictive side of me wants to respond to my children with something like, “Oh, you don’t have anything to do? Here! Fold this laundry! Scrub this toilet! Sweep this garage!” Other times I start talking like my mother: “When I was your age, we didn’t have video games and tablets and all these other digital gizmos! We actually spent our summers playing outside!”
And about then I usually stop and roll my eyes at myself because I realize I just used the word ‘gizmo’ with my children. Sigh. 😉
But we do want our kids spending time outside, right? They need the sunshine and the exercise, and sometimes a little good ol’ boredom is just the inspiration a child needs for some fun and creative play to start happening!
But it also doesn’t hurt to give kids a little direction – to slip them an idea or two for an outdoor activity — and then allow them to take off with it! Granted, my suggestions won’t necessarily work for every child in every family in every neighborhood, but consider these 25 ideas your basic starting points for some fun learning and summer boredom busting!
- Complete a scavenger hunt.
- Sketch and identify 3 tree varieties in your yard or neighborhood.
- Do a book of leaf rubbings.
- Identify 7 species of birds in your yard or neighborhood.
- Try to construct a real-looking bird nest from straw, sticks, mud, and other natural materials.
- Build an outdoor fort or clubhouse from wood or cardboard.
- Keep a summer log of all wildlife in your yard.
- Locate and identify two types of spider webs.
- Make a painting outdoors using only natural “brushes,” like leaves, sticks, grass, and pine sprigs.
- Keep a daily weather log.
- Make a sundial.
- Sketch and identify cloud types.
- Start a bug collection.
- Catch lightning bugs and learn about bioluminescence.
- Maintain a rain gauge and keep daily records.
- Start a rock collection, classifying them as either igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic.
- Keep a garden.
- Construct a homemade kite and try to fly it.
- Construct gliders from scrap materials and have flying competitions.
- Take the bubble challenge!
- Create your own obstacle course.
- Construct a Hot Wheel track in the dirt.
- With sidewalk chalk, design a city and road system for Hot Wheels.
- Set up and operate a sidewalk lemonade stand.
- Make homemade ice cream.
Summer will be gone before we know it! Arm yourself now with a few summer boredom busters, and the days of “I’m so bored!” and “There’s nothing to do!” should be fewer and further between!
Do your kids suffer from summer boredom? What do you do to encourage your kids to get outside?