Summer boredom busters

We are halfway through summer and that can lead to summertime boredom. The summer break can go by so quickly. In some places, kids are already heading back to school. For others, like my son, they still have a month left of summer vacation. But what is a parent to do when their kid comes up and says “Mom, I’m bored!”? It may be easy to come up with things to do for the first few weeks, but after a while, it can be tough. So today, I am sharing some summer boredom busters to help kids and parents make it through the rest of the summer. These will be a mix of fun and educational activities that your child can participate in.

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Summer boredom busters

Whether your child is your or reaching the teen years, it can be a challenge to fight off summer boredom. While many of these activities will be appropriate for all ages and skill levels, keep in mind that some may need to be modified to meet your child’s needs. Your child may be reluctant to try some of these out. After all, who wants to vacuum the house or do a math problem during the summer break? The fact is, that learning never stops. So find ways to incorporate these into the daily routines.

Keep them active

While some kids naturally gravitate towards constantly moving, others tend to become couch potatoes over the summer. I know my son would sit and watch TV all day long is I let him. Let’s be honest, some days we all just want to sit in front of a screen and do nothing. But being active is so important, especially for children. Teaching them those healthy habits of staying active will pay off in their adult years.

But what can we do on rainy days? Well, there are still plenty of things to do inside to stay active. You can build something out of LEGO, play table tennis or even do some exercising. My son even joined me when I did my 30-day fitness challenge, doing a small number of each of the exercises.

Get them outside

This goes hand in hand with keeping them active. It’s great to be moving while indoors, but getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is best. Chances are, they already spend a decent amount of time playing with their friends. However, some kids can fall more into the introvert side of life and need a bit of a push to get out. My son falls into the category. He is not much for going out with friends or even by himself. But, he always looks forward to going on walks with us every day. This gets him outside and keeps him active.

Going to the park, the lake or even for a walk is a great way to experience the outdoors. If you are looking for a bit more of an adventure, there is camping, hiking, canoeing and several other good activities to do with the family. Even something as simple as throwing a ball around the backyard can give them that daily dose of sunshine and vitamin D.

Picking wild raspberries.
Picking wild raspberries.

To add in some extra fun, take them berry picking in the wild, go to an apple orchard or even let them help you with the garden.

Keep them learning

Just because school is out for the summer doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. Studies have shown that kids lose 1 to 3 months worth of what they had previously learned over the summer vacation. This means that teachers need to spend the first few weeks of school going over many subjects before moving onto the current curriculum. This summer learning loss can be prevented by adding in some learning activities.

Reading

No matter what you end up doing in your adult life, reading is one of those necessary skills. Keep this skill fresh over the summer break by ensuring that your child is regularly reading. Even a single chapter a day can keep their reading proficiency where it needs to be. For kids who struggle with reading, the summer is a great time to work on improving this. Alternate between reading silently and aloud. This will allow you to also keep track of their reading progress. They may be resistant to reading aloud, I know I’m not a fan of it and neither is my son, but it can be good for them. After all, they will be asked to read aloud in school.

Many libraries will offer a summer reading program. These programs may also include rewards for reaching certain milestones, which is a great incentive for kids to read. If your local library doesn’t do this, you can create your own reading program at home.

If your child is hesitant to read, try finding a book of series that interests them. Once they find books that they enjoy, then they are more likely to be bitten by the reading bug. I know my son wasn’t much into reading, in fact, he still isn’t the biggest fan of it. However, there are some series that he enthusiastically reads. The Bird & Squirrel series is one of those. Honestly, this was the first series he read willingly and has reread it multiple times. Another great one is the Warriors Series by Erin Hunter. There are actually several series of these books, but they can be read separately from each other.

Another great idea is to read the books your child reads. This will allow you to have discussions about these books. What did they enjoy? What didn’t they like? Who was their favorite character? I did this with the Bone series and was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed the books. Then my son and I spent quite a bit of time talking about them.

Writing

Much like reading, writing is another part of life. Even in this digital age, it is important to know who to print and write correctly. Spending a bit of time every day working through printing and cursive can really help. This can be done by keeping a journal, writing stories or simply practicing letters and words on a sheet of paper. There are plenty of workbooks out there that can help with this skill as well.

I have my son practice printing and cursive each day. It’s not a lot. He does one page of printing, which usually consists of practicing some letters and now writing out sentences. For cursive, he does two pages, focusing on letters and short words at the moment but will soon move onto full sentences. I have already seen an improvement in his writing after just a month.

Workbooks

Another great way to add education into the summer is through workbooks. There are a large variety of workbooks out there that cover single or multiple topics for each grade level. These workbooks generally follow the curriculum of the schools. Whether it’s to brush up on the previous year’s work or to prepare them for the coming years, these are excellent sources of learning.

My son does several pages of workbooks each day, ranging from math, writing and even social science. There are days when he doesn’t want to do them. He will drag his feet and take his time getting to his desk. But in the end, he gets it done and then can play or watch TV afterward.

Summer camps

Chances are there is some kind of summer camp where you live. Signing your kids up for these will not only get them out of the house, but it will keep them busy, active and expand their knowledge. Camps can range from free workshops put on by a library, to large science camps that cost a decent amount.

Grow their skills

It is never too soon to start teaching your children life skills. Whether it’s something simple like picking up their toys or learning how to cook, the summer can be the perfect time to pass on this knowledge. Yes, it can be difficult at times, as having your child vacuum or peel potatoes means that it takes longer. You may even need to do the same time yourself when they are done to truly get the job done, but if they don’t do these things now, they may struggle with them in adulthood.

Make sure that your kids are participating in the household chores. Now is the time to pass on those skills and habits. If needed, schedule a certain day of the week to work on one or more jobs around the house. Set a timer if needed. This will help them to learn time management skills as well. If these activities are practiced throughout the summer, and beyond, then they will quickly master them and can move onto the next skill.

Don’t forget to have fun

Of course, the most important thing to remember is to have fun! Summer vacation is a great time to kick back and enjoy life. Watch some television, play video games, build something out of Legos, explore the world around you. Board games are another great activity to do. These can be done with their friends or family. There are many board games out there to choose from. Some of our favorites are The Game of Life, Catan, Barrel Of Monkeys, and Tiddlywinks.

The key to having a good summer is all about balance. Kids don’t want to spend their entire summer doing school work, but they also need to get away from the screens. I know it can be a struggle some days, telling your child to turn off the television or stop playing video games so that they can go do something learning-based, but it will be worth it in the long run. Just remember, don’t restrict these things to the summertime These activities can and should be done all year round.

18 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Some great ideas! With 2 weeks of summer left, I am still trying to figure out ways to keep the kids entertained!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      It’s always a challenge to find a summer’s worth of entertainment. Hope some of these ideas help you out.

  2. Avatar

    These are awesome ideas!! My little guy is a toddler and I can still apply some of these ideas! Thanks for helping me survive the last couple of weeks of summer! ?

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Yes, you can use these ideas for any age. Something like flash cards and other simple educations games would be great for him. Gets him learning early and makes it fun.

  3. Avatar

    Such a great list! I used to hate trying to come up with activities to keep the kids busy. So I would bore them more with…when I was a kid stories. Lol

    1. Avatar
      Author

      It really can be tough to think of things. I used to struggle to keep my son entertained, especially in those younger years. I honestly wish I had have done these things back then. Haha, I mean stories of your childhood are better than nothing.

  4. Avatar

    These are some great ideas. My daughter loves the warrior cats series so I never have to pester her too much about reading thankfully!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      That’s awesome. My son got into the series during school last year and now we have been buying the books every time we see them in the used bookstore. He also wants me to read them so that we can have discussions about them, which I’m more than happy to do.

  5. Avatar

    These are some great tips, not just for the kids either.. parents can do it too..

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Very true. A lot of these tips can be applied to people of any age.

  6. Avatar

    Some really great ideas here. Our summer is winding to a close, but I’m always looking for things to fill up our weekends and, sometimes, even our evenings. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Avatar
      Author

      You can absolutely use these ideas all year round. Even when my son goes back to school, I will make sure he is staying active and learning in those after school hours.

  7. Avatar

    Super ideas! I remember trying to keep my kids occupied during the summer – wish I had these tips then.

    1. Avatar
      Author

      I honestly wish I had known all of these things when my son was younger, but it’s better late than never!

  8. Avatar

    Excellent advice! I love the writing idea. I’m going to pass on this post to some family members who have little ones at home 😉

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Great! I hope they find these tips helpful.

  9. Avatar

    Love this post! I remember getting bored towards the end of the holidays when I was a kid, little did I know I would long for that time off as an adult! Love all the ideas, especially reading and writing activities (because I loved this as a child and still do) and getting outdoors. Thanks for sharing 🙂 x

    1. Avatar
      Author

      Yes, the boredom usually strikes in the latter half of summer break. Reading and writing is such a great activity no matter your age. It’s super relaxing.

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