Beating Kids’ Summer Doldrums

Boredom is not an option.

Doldrums-1

No sooner than my kids make their first splash in the pool and order up their first bomb pop from the ice cream man do I hear the two little words that are sure to have me rolling my eyes and stomping my feet (my own brand of mom temper tantrum): I’m bored. This year, I’ve done my research…well, I surfed Pinterest. And I found no shortage of things to do that are NOT been there, done that. At all. I organized them into a handful of categories that will help tackle the what-to-dos before they are through their first episode of Phinneas and Ferb.

Eat your words.

A bowl of pretzels? Bor-ring. It just takes a little inspiration to make snacking a big deal. Here are a few ideas that caught my eye and will catch my kids’ appetites.

  • Magic potion: Kool-aid ice cubes + Sprite = just plain cool
  • Illustrate the phases of the moon with Oreos: that’s a lot of creamy centers you can scrape with your teeth (not complaining)
  • Very Hungry Caterpillar kabobs: First came the book, then came the snack: fun with fruit – and sticks!
  • Fossil cookies: Plastic insects are imprinted on sugar cookie dough, taking about 12 minutes, not 12 million years
  • Tie-dyed toast: Peace, love, food coloring and milk

Take it outside.

Hit your favorite dollar store and add to your summer craft arsenal ASAP!

  • Swim noodles: Craft jousting sticks, obstacles, targets, light sabers, a goal post – even a sprinkler
  • Flash lights: For tag after dark, because no one wants to go to bed early
  • Straws & pipe cleaners: Make crazy-cool bubble wands
  • Balloons: Inflate with helium, Sharpie ninja masks on them and grab a Nerf gun
  • Water balloons: No explanation needed

Or let nature chart your course. Take a quick stroll through the park and grab grass, leaves, feathers and found objects and build a fairy house.

Doldrums-2

DIY.

Pre-made toys are overrated. Let your kids try their hands at doing these themselves:

  • Marshmallow shooters: From PVC pipe to plastic cups where there’s a will, and a target—there’s a way.
  • Hot car crayons: Melt wrapper-free nubs in a muffin tin on the car – much more purposeful than the old egg-on-the-sidewalk heat experiment
  • Parachutes: MacGyver this from a plastic bag, string, paperclip and a rubber band. Really.
  • Cardboard Construction Set: Cut grooves in flattened boxes for groovy building pieces; think house of cards, only bigger and better

Art alfresco.

Sidewalk chalk is your best friend, and your cheapest date. From the simplicity of hopscotch to the classic body outline-turned-self-portrait to the challenge of a numbers game, there are more ideas than colors of the rainbow. Get to Googling and have your kids try their hand at:

  • Chalk constellations
  • Obstacle course
  • Human board games
  • Race tracks
  • Chalk paint (surprise! Just add water)
  • My favorite? Creating a scene or cityscape that’s Mary Poppins-esque that kids can just jump into. Like this

When in doubt.

Have the kids contribute to an “I’m Sooooo Bored” jar. Everyone [even parents] can scribble ideas of things to do on scraps of paper. When the mood strikes, these little ideas will carry your summer a long way!

Heidi

About the author: Heidi Alger

Heidi Alger is the mother of two low-maintenance, high-energy kids under the age of 10. She offers financial guidance, budget tips and lifestyle advice keeping the challenges of modern military families in line, writing alongside an award-winning team at Pioneer Services. Her grandfather, a CW04, served in the Army Security and National Security Agencies during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Follow Heidi on Google+.

Contact: Heidi Alger

Comments

comments powered by Disqus