Some kids are already out of school for the summer while some of us are still waiting for our poopsies to get out. I am overhearing other moms out in public saying they are only three days into summer break and they are losing it. Kids fighting and constantly hearing “I’m bored.” I’m sure some of you are familiar with this scenario 😉 You just need to be prepared ya’ll!
Here I will provide a list of summer boredom busters that keep my kids (and me) happy during the summer months. Now, these work with my kids. I hope you will find these to be universal, but don’t come calling me if they don’t work for you, ok?
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Hold Ninja Warrior races at home or at the park.
My family loves watching this show. Their Dad came up with this idea one day when he got tired of running around the park and entertaining them. Enter this game. One kid decides what the obstacle course is and will show the other kids what the course is. For example: First climb the steps and go across the monkey bars, run to the swing and swing 3 times, etc. Yell, “Ready, set, go!” to the first kid and time them until they reach the finish line. Then, have each kid individually run the course. Compare times to choose the winner. To play again, have another kid decide what the next course is. This game can go on for a while.
Have a movie theater in your home
Save this for the hottest time of day, or on a day where everyone is low energy.
It’s all about creating atmosphere and the kids will think it’s fun.
- Pick a movie you can stream, get at the box, or grab one from the library.
Danger: Pick the movie yourself or you risk starting an annoying argument between your kids.
- Get a lightbox if you have one and put the name of the movie on it. Or, just have them make a sign!
- Make some popcorn. You can look up recipes online for creative gourmet concoctions, or just microwave a bag of popcorn. Throw it in one of those Target Dollar spot popcorn bins. My kids feel these are extra special.
- If there’s a movie theme, have them dress up (i.e.- Disney Princess)
- Grab some movie theater candy at the local dollar store.
Sounds like a solid day to me!
Take advantage of kids’ summer movies at local movie theaters.
Movie theaters have stepped up their game by offering inexpensive summer movies for kids. It’s a great way to get out of the house and into some free air conditioning.
Enroll in your local library or Barnes and Noble summer reading program
These are free and fun! Your kids get to pick what they want to read all summer. All they have to do is read for a designated amount of time by a certain date, and most libraries will give them a fun reward. Last year, my kids each earned a free book and some coupons for the local area.
Attend family shows at the library- puppet shows, magic shows, music shows, etc.
Hard to believe, but libraries are no longer what they were when we were kids. My local library has a summer program where you can go see a show at least every other week. They are surprisingly well done. We’ve seen puppet shows, great magic shows, music, you name it. Check out the Los Angeles County Library and Los Angeles Public Library!
Let the kids pretend to be YouTubers
Ok, before you roll your eyes… We all know that kids have become obsessed with YouTube. My kids used to ask me non-stop to post videos and to have a channel. Why not use this to your advantage this summer?
Encourage your kids to make their own YouTube videos with your phone. Nobody says you have to post them. I’ve found that my kids have been perfectly happy with this arrangement. They have also impressed me with their creativity.
Have the kids invent a show or make music videos
Aside from YouTube videos, my kids have enjoyed making up stories with dolls/figurines and videotaping.
Music videos have also become a thing. Those are wildly entertaining for me to watch!
Kid summer craft classes at your local craft store
Major craft stores like Michaels and JoAnns offer summer classes for kids.
Mall kid shows
Some malls offer kid shows. Check your local mall for schedules.
Build a fairy village
You can either go to the craft store to find fairy figurines, the dollar store, or make them yourself. Personally, I prefer that it be made and we just plop them down wherever we want.
The kids and I built a fairy garden together. Check out our post, Build Your Own Fairy Garden!
Who doesn’t love mini golf? If you’re bored with the park, the pool, or being at home, this is a good option.
If you happen to be in Las Vegas, check out this post KISS Mini Golf in Las Vegas: Is It Worth It?!
Kids bowl free
Sign up for the kids bowl free program. You can get 2 free games a day per kid. You can sign up here.
Make up your own scavenger hunt and the kids will be busy for a while trying to find these things. I’ve made some scavenger hunt printables for the backyard, park, and the beach. You can find them in our post about Summer and Class Party Games Guaranteed to Make Kids Smile!
Local pool or sprinkler
This one is a no-brainer, but figured I should throw it in here 😉
Mom’s Club or Meetup
Have you taken a look at Mom’s Club in your area, or looked for local Mom groups on Meetup.com? This is a great way to meet other moms and get your kids some play pals.
Mommy Summer Camp
Run your day like a summer camp. Include crafts, relays, etc. I called mine “Camp MamiWaka.” My kids wouldn’t stop bugging me about going to a sleep away camp like in the Disney Show, “Bunk’d.” Well, that wasn’t happening, but I gave them the full experience. I even played the morning bugle song to wake them up one morning. They didn’t care for that part of the experience.
McMommy Meals (patent pending)
Do your kids ask for a happy meal or other such thing every time you drive past a fast food place? Mine used to. One day, I came up with the idea of picking up a cute container at the dollar store and grabbing a few inexpensive toys that I could put in the bucket. They started asking for McMommy meals every summer thereafter and always look forward to the surprise toy, pencil, etc. Surprisingly, they don’t mind whatever food I choose to pair it with.
Aside from playing ninja warrior games, we have a post full of games you can play at home when boredom strikes. Check out our post, Summer and Class Party Games Guaranteed to Make Kids Smile!
- Fly a kite
- Pick up chalk and have the kids draw away on the cement.
Become a science lab
Kids tend to love science experiments if you don’t make a big deal about it. You can do basic stuff you did as a kid, or buy one of those kits off of Amazon. Here are some basic ideas:
- Mentos and coke
- Color flowers with water and dye
- Buy or borrow an experiment book from the library. Here is one of our favorites: The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book
- Pick up a bug kit and have kids examine bugs from the garden.
These are not experiments, but how about watching Bill Nye on Netflix and Project MC Squared to get the kids interested? On another note, did you see that they now have a “Who Was” show on Netflix based upon the popular kids’ books?
Have friends over for an ice cream party
When in doubt, get play pals for your kids. Have them call up some friends and see if they can come over. Lure them with the promise of an ice cream party. Buy a couple of flavors and put out a “bar” with sprinkles, gummy bears, etc. for toppings. The kids will love it.
There you have it my friends! An encyclopedia of ideas for keeping your kids busy enjoying their summer break.
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