Warm Weather Boredom Busters
How to Keep the Kids Occupied During the Dog Days of Summer
Need ideas for the "I'm bored!" blues? There are tons of things that you
and your children can do that require little or no additional expense.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
I Spy - To play this game simply choose an object within eyeshot and
state the letter that it begins with. For example, if your object is a
candle you say "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with 'C' "
Each family member takes turns guessing what object you spied. Whoever
guesses the object gets to go next.
Coloring - It is quite possible that there is not a child on this planet
that does not enjoy coloring with crayons and markers. Pick up coloring
books at the dollar store and keep them up high for special "boredom
Hide It - Hide an object in an obvious place. For example, place your
portable telephone on top of the television. The first person to find
the telephone gets to pick the next object and hide it. The only rule is
that the object cannot actually be "hidden", it must be in a visible
place and not hidden from view.
Puzzles - What a great way for the family to spend some relaxing time
together. Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, different age ranges and
Picnic at Home - Have a picnic on the front lawn. Spread a blanket out
and enjoy some sandwiches, fresh fruit, and chips. Don't forget the
fruit juice! If the weather does not permit for such outdoor
festivities, you can enjoy your picnic in the living room.
Backyard Camping - Who says you have to travel and pay for camping
space? Set up your tent in the backyard, roast marshmallows on the
grill, and sit around and tell ghost stories. In "The Kids Campfire
you will find a variety of stories, songs, games, and outdoor
Gardening - If possible, allow your children to have their very own
planting area. If space does not allow for it, let the kids help you
plant flowers and potted herbs. Be sure to explain the importance of
sunshine and water for proper growth of your garden.
Family Movie Night - Rent a movie from the video store, or if you have
cable, order a pay per view movie where appropriate. Make popcorn and
snuggle up on the couch with blankets and pillows. If your diet allows
for it, include soda pop as a special family night treat.
Hot Potato - or Hot Beanie Baby, or whatever you have to toss around.
Beanies actually work really well if you aren't a serious collector and
worry about their condition. If you have some of the knockoffs, they
work just fine too. Have everyone sit in a circle and toss the beanie
from one person to another, never knowing where it's going to end up.
It's a lot of fun for all the kids and keeps them occupied for
absolutely no money.
Mystery Bag - Place an object inside of a black plastic garbage bag.
First allow the children to feel the object from outside of the bag. If
they are unable to guess what's inside, allow them to reach into the bag
and feel the object. If they still don't know the answer, provide fun
clues. For example, if the object is a framed photo of Mom, give hints
such as "who puts bandages on your scraped knees?" or "Daddy thinks
she's picture perfect."
Paper Bag Puppets - Nothing could be easier than taking a brown paper
lunch sack and drawing on a face. Voila, instant puppet. You can add
some color and creativity by bringing out the glue, scissors, yarn,
glitter, markers and buttons. Use buttons for eyes, yarn for hair and
markers to decorate the face.
Paper Loop Caterpillar - You will need colored construction paper, paper
hole punch, glue, and scissors. Cut 1-inch-wide strips of colored
construction paper. Cut and glue the strips into various sized loops.
Glue together small paper loops. Attach paper-punch dots to decorate.
Add eyes, mouth and antennae.
Sidewalk Chalk - This recipe is for sidewalks only. Do not use this
chalk on any other surface. You will need 4-5 eggshells, 1 teaspoon
flour, 1 teaspoon very hot tap water, and food coloring (optional).
Wash & dry eggshells. Put into bowl and grind into a powder. A mortar
and pestle works fine for this. Discard any large pieces. Place flour
and hot water in another bowl and add 1 tablespoon eggshell powder & mix
until a paste forms. Add food coloring if desired. Shape & press mixture
firmly into the shape of a chalk stick, and roll up tightly in a strip
of paper towel. Allow to dry approximately 3 days until hard. Remove
paper towel and you've got chalk. Eggshell chalk is for sidewalks only.
Ice Cream in a Baggie - You can make your own sundaes with this fun ice
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 sandwich size Ziploc bags
- 1 one gallon size Ziploc bag
- 2 cups ice
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
Put one small Ziploc bag inside the other and add the milk, half and
half, sugar, and vanilla extract to the inside bag. Seal both bags
securely, removing excess air. Add ice and salt to larger bag and place
smaller bag inside. Seal firmly. Let the kids shake themselves silly --
shaking, tossing, and turning the bag. Ice cream will be soft and ready
to eat in 5 to 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Top this off with chocolate syrup made from scratch.
Mix together cocoa and sugar; blend until cocoa is smooth and lumps are
gone. Add water and salt; mix thoroughly. Cook over medium heat, bring
to a boil. Boil until thick, keep stirring so that it doesn't burn or
overflow! Remove from heat; let cool. After the mixture has cooled, add
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 tbsp vanilla
For another refreshing summer treat, try these icy cool drinks.
In a blender, combine Kool-Aid, water and sugar. Blend. Add all the ice
and blend. That's it! Pour into cups, add a straw and enjoy on those
hot summer days. Great for Mom and Dad too. For Coca Cola, simply add
one can of Coke and enough ice to cover and blend.
- 1 package of unsweetened Kool-Aid drink mix, any flavor
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 cups ice
Here's a great recipe for your family picnic or just snacking after
Granola Fruit Kabobs
- 1 cup granola
- 1 medium apple, cut into chunks
- 1 small banana, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- 1/2 cup fruit flavored yogurt
Place granola in shallow bowl. Toss fruit with a small amount of lemon
juice to deter browning. Insert toothpicks into each piece of fruit. To
serve, dip fruit in yogurt, coat all sides. Roll in granola. When
bringing these kabobs to a picnic, pack the granola, yogurt and fruit
separately in tightly covered plastic containers. Keep cold in a cooler
until ready to serve.
There are so many things that you can do with your kids. Go to the park,
enjoy a nature walk in your own neighborhood, inspect the insects that
live in your yard, identify the different types of flowers blooming on
your street. Kids love word games, brain teasers, math puzzles and
much more. Take advantage of your knowledge and share it with them.
© Amanda Formaro
Amanda Formaro is the mother of four children. She and her husband live
in southern Nevada. She is also the owner of familycorner.com magazine
at http://familycorner.com | email her at: WebMom@familycorner.com
Back to KinderArt K-12