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15 Fun Child Activities for Late Summer Boredom

As a mother of six children, I have a love/hate relationship with summer. All of the regular day-to-day child activities do not seem to entertain my kids anymore!  Going to the swimming pool, coloring, or playing with friends will only entertain them for so long.

Please do not get me wrong. I love the lazy days of sleeping in, making cookies in the middle of the afternoon, and having teenage babysitters at home when I want to sneak away for some uninterrupted mommy time, but I despise the ever-apparent “I’m bored” kid syndrome!

Yes, you know this disease… the one were whiney, tired, and often-fighting kids tell you over and over that they are bored, bored, bored!  In my opinion, the only thing more time-consuming than a bored child is a sick child!

If you ask any one of my children what my response would be to them in these instances, they would immediately answer your question with, “Yeah, we get it… only boring people get bored!”  My hope is that they will simply find a way to entertain themselves so that I can get to my daily tasks.  In late summer, that rarely happens!

This summer seems to be far worse for us, as we just relocated to a new state, meaning that our normally revolving door of neighborhood friends is limited so far.  My children feel cooped up, normal activities are not cutting it, and the yard play without friends is not fun anymore.

Lately, I’ve had to pull all my creative juices together to come up a new list of things to do for my “boring” kids. If you also struggle with this syndrome at your home, then I hope that this list of 15 fun end-of-summer child activities will help…

  • 15 Fun Child Activities for Late Summer Boredom 1 of 16
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  • Sidewalk Chalk Art 2 of 16
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    It is one of the most inexpensive and fun child activities! One of the most touching things to see as a mom, is when I drive up to a home whose driveway is covered in children's artwork in chalk! My girls love to use chalk to create notes, rainbows, or family portraits on the concrete. If artwork gets boring, I teach my girls to draw a foursquare or a hopscotch and help them discover a whole new element to chalk from my childhood. 

     

    Photo Source: ShowMeCute.com

  • Run Through the Sprinklers 3 of 16
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    Nothing says summer more than the sound of lawn sprinklers. {OK, maybe a lawn mower, but that is not a fun summer activity!} I love the sound of old-fashioned sprinklers clicking away, watering the lawn. It reminds me of when I was young. On a hot summer day, my kids love it when I turn on a section of yard sprinklers for them to run through, or turn on a cute store-bought toy sprinkler with our garden hose. You can find these in the swimming accessory section of your local Wal-Mart. My children love it even more when I put that sprinkler under the trampoline and let them bounce away to contentment on a wet, cool surface. The best part is that this produces very few messes, waters your lawn, and the sun will nicely dry up your trampoline.

  • Make a Set of Wooden Stilts 4 of 16
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    Buy a 2"x4" and two 2"x2" boards from your local lumber store. Cut off two 8" segments from the 2x4 and nail securely each one about one foot from the bottom of each 2x2. (This distance from the ground is very safe, in case they fall.) Show them how to walk on the stilts, and they will spend hours trying to learn how. Once they get it, be prepared for them to search high and low for you to come watch them!

    Photo Source: Flicker (Tim Evanson)

  • Slushie Run 5 of 16
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    Take the children for a slushie run! Most convenience stores have a few flavored slush (shaved ice and syrup) options, and it sure takes the edge off of a hot afternoon. You can also give them ice cream or even otter pops! In our home, this is sometimes a treat reward for helping with additional chores that day. Doing this can take a child's day from boring to amazing!

    Photo Source: Flickr (Dark Flare)

  • Learn a Dance 6 of 16
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    Pull up a YouTube video of a popular dance (Thriller, the Twist, Macarena, Boot Scoot'n Boogie, Gangnam Style, etc) and and let your kids spend an afternoon learning it. You will hear lots of giggles, see them scrambling for costumes, and will find a precious yet humorous moment watching them perform it for you later. Make sure you join in!

  • Kitchen Fun 7 of 16
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    Spend the end of summer teaching your kids how to prepare basic foods or fun. Because of the warm weather, my kids love to experiment with homemade frozen popsicles or freezing such items in ice cubes as gummy worms or berries. We often enjoy making pumpkin muffins, chocolate chip cookies, salad, jello, or homemade soda slushies during the summer months. If you find yourself wanting a little down time on a summer afternoon, purchase an inexpensive kid-friendly recipe book and let your children discover a few new dishes/treats on their own! Sure, there may be a resulting mess, but they will have fun and be out of your hair for a few hours. I also involve my children in meal planning, and each one gets to help with one meal.

  • Water Balloon Fight 8 of 16
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    For older children, if you don't have access to a sprinkler or you have water restrictions in your area, try some water balloons! Kids love to soak each other with a water-filled balloon, to no end. You can show them how to do a Water Balloon Toss or pair them up holding the ends of a towel for a great game of Water Balloon Volleyball!

    Photo source: Flickr (drunkwithglory)

  • Play a Game of “Speed” 9 of 16
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    If you aren't familiar with the card game SPEED, you can visit YouTube and learn how to play. When I was younger, I loved to play Speed. It is easy enough that kids age 6 and up can understand it, but playful enough to still entertain adults. Feel free to use Rook cards, so you only have to be able to count to 14! My girls enjoy playing this game with me, with each other, or even as a group.

  • Homemade Smores 10 of 16
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    A favorite summer snack for all! Spend some time showing the kids how to roast marshmallows over your gas stove, in the microwave, or over a backyard fire! Stick it between two graham crackers with a piece of chocolate and your children will be in heaven! Mix it up by trying new foods in the smores like bananas or Nutella… yummy!

  • Family Movie Night 11 of 16
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    Use one of your online movie services to give your kids a taste of the movies you watched when you were their age. We then put the little's to bed and make some popcorn. It's always amazing to me that my children haven't seen so many of the movies I grew up with. You can watch anything from "Savannah Smiles" to "Napoleon Dynamite", and from "Anne of Green Gables" to "The Goonies" or "Rudy". If your children are like mine, they will resist at first, but by the end of the first movie… they will love it and ask for more! This is one of our most-requested activities of the summer!

  • Go for a Walk or Bike Ride 12 of 16
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    Spend a morning or evening enjoying the cooler weather by going on a walk together. Leave all electronic devices at home, and spend less time talking and more time listening. Before too long, watch as your kids chatter away about their friends, life ambitions, and plenty of funny stories. This is their time, and you sit back and enjoy their conversations with each other and you. While walking, I also enjoy looking for frogs, turtles, snakes, anthills, birds, and animal-shaped clouds in the sky. As a bonus you can skip the gym for the day!

  • Camera Fun 13 of 16
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    By making a list of 30 random household or food items, you can send your children through your home, or in the neighborhood, with a camera on a scavenger hunt to snap a photo of each item found. Give prizes for completing the list, and be sure everyone wins! You could also send them to explore and take imaginative pictures of flowers, leaves, and insects. On a nice afternoon, simply drive them down to your local historic town center and let them use their creativity to explore old architecture and buildings through the lens. You will have happy smiles and even more giggles when you later review the photos with the kids.

  • Put Together a Jigsaw Puzzle 14 of 16
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    Run to the dollar store, grab a few puzzles, and take them home to enjoy hours of silence from the children. Varying degrees of puzzle difficulty will keep all the kids entertained, while your babies nap and you get a rest!

  • Wash the Car 15 of 16
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    Entertain the kids AND get a chore done? I love it! Simply hand your children a bucket with some soapy water and a few rags. Tell them to get into their swimsuits, then roll up your windows and pull your car onto the driveway, and let them go to work. They won't even recognize that they are working, because they will be so busy having fun! You and I both know that the car will end up still somewhat dirty, with soap streaks and dried bubbles, but that 1-2 hours of sanity will be worth a $5 trip to the car wash later! {If you are me, I just hose the car down!}

    Photo Source: Flickr (bikephotomusic)

  • Love the City Library 16 of 16
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    I learned very young to love reading and the value of good books {thanks mom!}. It gives me pleasure to pass this gift along to my own children. For each of my children, I taught them to read when they were either 3 or 4 and they have been readers ever since. If you were to visit my house on any given day, you would find my girls nestled in corners or in self-created reading nooks, happily reading their books. Because my children go through books like most families go through toilet paper, there is no way that I could buy enough to keep them happy. This is where the City Library comes in! {Take advantage of it, since your taxes pay for it!} My older girls love to wander through the aisles and pick out there own books while the little's like to look at the picture books with me. Libraries typically have comfy lounge chairs you can sit in and read, right there where it's nice and quiet. If you have little children, be check out the summer reading programs, public story times, and other kid-entertaining activities at the library!

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