As summer approaches and time out of school is coming closer and closer it is hard to sometimes find ways to keep your kids occupied with all the extra down time. How horrible is it when we hear our children say, I’m bored? We look around the house at all the things we have bought them over the years and all the things that we know that could be done. Sometimes though kids need a little push into what could be fun to do. Here are a few things that you can try with your kids next time they are acting like they have nothing to keep them occupied.
Who doesn’t love a DIY project? Whether it’s painting rocks, or painting a canvas, painting can be very entertaining for kids. Especially if you can find some things for them to paint that isn’t normal. Like outdoor wooden furniture, or repainting on of their dressers to spruce up their room a little. Another fun painting activity you can try if you have a good outdoor space and older children, is filling balloons with paint and throwing darts at them to splatter over a canvas. Another fun DIY is to make homemade playdough. You can make homemade playdough with ingredients found in most pantries. This is fun for the kids to be able to make the playdough and then once made continue the fun with actually playing with the dough. A DIY that is a little more effort on the parents side is making an escape room for your kids to do. After the initial set up if you set it up to your children’s strengths then you won’t have much to do but make sure they stay on task. This can be a fun way to incorporate some school activities into their day, such as problem solving, math problems, or word problems.
Another fun at home activity you can do with your kids is dress up. This doesn’t have to be some elaborate thing where you go out and buy costumes. You can put your children’s creative juices going by giving them a theme, movie, or characters from their favorite books or movies and see if they can come up with outfits from what they can find in the house. This can be fun to let them look through your closet as well to see if they get inspiration. Another idea could be for them to dress up as someone or something and make you guess who they are.
If you are feeling patient and adventurous, you can always have your children help you out in the kitchen. It can be fun to bake cupcakes or sugar cookies together. You have the baking experience together then once the cupcakes or cookies are out of the oven you can then decorate them together. This can even be broken up into a two day activity to keep them busy longer. If you have older kids you could have them go through the recipe books you have and see what sounds good for them and help them prepare lunch or dinner one night. It’s never too early to start learning to cook.
Another fun around the house activity you can do with your kids and help them work on their math skills is to set up a pretend store in your house. Get items together, mark them with pretend sales tickets and your kids can take turns being the shopper and the store clerk. You can either get pretend money from the store or have them draw and cut up their own pretend money. This can help with addition and subtraction skills as well as the fun of seeing what they would price items. You can also do this pretend store idea with stuffed animals as though it was a pet shop instead. Other ideas with stuffed animals could be setting up a zoo for your stuffed animals, or a vet clinic to take care of hurt ones.
A far less fun one but could be helpful for the parents is to reorganize toys or your kids bedrooms with them. Make this as fun as possible. Put music on and organize for one song, when the song ends you have a dance off during the next song, then back to organizing as the songs switch back and forth. Help your kids weed through their clothes that don’t fit anymore and put them in a box to donate or pass down to younger siblings or family members. Have your kids watch a couple of Marie Kondo episodes and see if they catch the organization bug and start folding their clothes neatly.
There are lots of things to do with our children at home, but there are even budget friendly things to do around where you live. Check with your local library, they usually will have a summer reading program, or daily activities that you can take your children up for. This will be free entertainment for your children. If your family likes to wake up early and get outside, check for local farmers markets where you can all go walk around and pick some wonderful grown items. Other outdoor activities could include going to a park and hiking or playing on playgrounds. Some parks will do night time movies where you go with lawn chairs and picnic blankets and watch a movie under the stars. You will want to check what is around you, there are a lot of things you can do for little or no money with your family.
Don’t be overwhelmed at the thought of keeping your children busy while home for the summer. There are lots of things you can come up with to keep your kids busy instead of video games day in and day out. (Nothing wrong with some video games). Ask your children too, they may have some ideas of what they would like to do that you hadn’t thought of. You know your kids best so just play to what you know they like and have fun with them.