64 Ways to Beat Summer Boredom
There’s a whole, awesome summer ahead of us that I’m excited to fill with fun stuff for me and the kids, but I accept that sometimes I’m just really all out of ideas on how to fill days or hours for them.
My kids are only six and three, and still need a lot of guidance on how to entertain themselves, so I started writing a note about fun things we could do this summer with the idea of being mindful of our budget. We started writing things down together (the kids and I), and here’s our list so far. If you have things to add, let me know!
1. Visit a splashpad: Check your local town/city website to find out where there are free ones near you!
2. Visit a beach: Even if it takes a couple hours to drive to one, this is a worthy day trip because who doesn’t love playing in the sand?
3. Go for a hike: Find a trail and hike that trail. So much adventure can be found on hikes!
4. Find a new playground: Explore your town and find a playground you’ve never been to before. Even with all the same equipment, a new park is exciting.
5. Go swimming: Local pools have inexpensive public swim times that are always worth checking out.
6. Write a diary every day: This is a fun way to recap what kids do every day, so they can appreciate all the wonderful stuff they experience. It’s so easy to forget.
7. Take a photo every day of something fun you did: And at the end of the summer, make a beautiful photo book of memories.
8. Do a nature craft: Take a look at what’s around you (sticks? rocks? pinecones?) and Google crafts to make out of them. You’d be surprised at how cool some of the ideas will be.
9. Visit a zoo (bonus if it’s free): There are a few free and inexpensive zoos in the GTA, so check out what’s around you!
10. Visit the library: On a hot day, a cool visit to the peaceful library is a welcome activity that everyone can enjoy. For free!
11. Write and mail real letters to family/friends: Everyone loves a surprise in the mail.
12. Bake something yummy.
13. Cook a meal together: Getting kids involved in the meal-making process is great for everyone. As little as two-years-old, they can offer input into meals and help out with preparation.
14. Pick up garbage in a public park.
15. Take a road trip: Hop in the car and drive to a new town and see what you find.
16. Have a picnic: Even just taking lunch outside on the front step is a fun activity that shakes up the boredom.
17. Be dramatic: Put on a play with friends or siblings, write a summer song.
18. Finger paint: Even adults can get into finger painting when they let down the Mess Alarms. Dig out the paints and make a big mural together. Embrace the mess!
19. Run through the sprinkler.
20. Walk around your neighborhood: How many of us just wander our ‘hoods these days? I’m willing to bet not many.
21. Ride bikes.
22. Make a piñata: Then fill it with candy and break it, just for fun.
23. Visit a museum: What’s in your area? Do you know the history of your town/city?
24. Find a free local activity: Many towns and cities offer free summer entertainment and programs, you just have to look for them. Take advantage!
25. Go to the farmer’s market: Support local (or local-ish). Get out there and enjoy the local tastes of the season, there’s nothing as delicious as the produce picked this morning!
26. Clean out the closets: No time like the present to get rid of last year’s outgrown wardrobe.
27. Purge the toys: Ditto for the toys, get rid of whatever is broken or unused!
28. Try a new hobby: There’s no time like summer vacation to pick up a new hobby. School’s out, so why not learn to make beads with clay? Or learn about local trees?
29. Check out a farm.
30. Watch a movie outside.
31. Make gifts for friends/family: Make a necklace for nana out of beads, or a paper weight for papa out of rocks.
32. Play outdoor twister with chalk: Or hopscotch.
33. Set up a lemonade stand: Unless you live in this woman’s ‘hood.
34. Take a drive through the country: Have your kids ever seen cows? Cornfields? Wild turkeys and coyotes and deer? Mine have, because we frequently drive through The Country to search for such things. It’s pretty awesome, really.