Summer Boredom Busters:
10 Great Ideas to Keep Kids from Getting the Summer Blues

by Polly Schlafhauser

Keep kids from getting the summer blues with these ten great ideas.

Build an Ice Cream Stand – Find a local ball park busy with little league ball games and set up an ice cream stand. Let the kids build and decorate the stand out of wood or cardboard (old refrigerator boxes work well) and add their menu to the outside. Keep kids involved by letting them be in charge of buying the supplies (large bulk clubs like Sam’s Club are great for this) and figuring out how much to charge. Encourage your kids to donate a portion of their profits to a charity or add some fun games for their customers to play while enjoying their ice cream. Keep the ice cream cold by burying it in plastic containers at the bottom of a big cooler filled with ice.

Organize a Summer Playgroup – Ask other parents to join you and your kids at a local park once a week. Play on the playground, organize lawn games, or provide crafts for the kids.

Hold a Treasure Hunt – Write up clues that will lead your kids on a hunt through the neighborhood and to local places of interest. Begin by mailing the first clue to the kids (what kid doesn’t like to receive mail?) and letting them figure out where to go. You can spread the clues out over the summer or have them complete the hunt in a day. At the end, have a “treasure” of prizes available as reward for their accomplishments. You can make it interesting by writing the clues on scrolls or by making them educational

Start a Neighborhood Business – If your child is old enough, help them start a small neighborhood business like pet watching, dog walking, mother’s helper, or house watching (getting mail, watering plants). Help them create fliers, determine pricing, and of course help them understand how to provide excellent customer service.

Host a Neighborhood Cookout – Encourage your neighbors and friends to take a break from their busy lives by inviting them to a neighborhood cookout. Include the kids by having them help make invitations, plan games, and prepare food. Make it easier on yourself and family by asking your friends and neighbors to bring a dish to share.

Join a Reading Contest or Challenge – Encourage your kids to get lost in a good book this summer by signing them up for your local library’s reading contest. Common among most libraries, book challenges are a great way to keep kids reading through the summer and earn prizes and awards for their achievements.

Start a Summer Scrapbook or Memory Jar– Start by saving small mementos from your summer vacations, activities, and trips. Over the summer let the kids add them to a scrapbook or store in a decorated memory jar or box. Make it fun by giving the kids a challenge of finding the most unique memento from their excursions.

Hold a Carnival – Let your kids organize a backyard carnival for friends and neighbors. Kids can be kept busy building a ticket booth, organizing games, planning food, and buying prizes. Let them take charge here; you will be amazed at what their imaginations can do!

Write a Family or Neighborhood Newsletter – Put your kids in charge of writing and publishing a family or neighborhood newsletter. Let them write creative articles and share the scoop on what is going on with friends and family. This is a great way to help them improve their writing skills and keep them busy at the same time.

Start a Puzzle – Pick out a large challenging puzzle and put it in an out of the way place. Encourage the kids to slowly add and complete the puzzle throughout the summer. This is a great one to have on hand when they say “I’m bored”.

About the author:
Polly Schlafhauser is Founder and President of Families with Purpose, a website dedicated to helping busy families enhance their family life and find time for the little things in life. To subscribe to their FREE newsletter or to find more creative ideas to beat the Summer Boredom Blues, visit their website at http://www.familieswithpurpose.com