Once a month Shannon of Rocks In My Dryer hosts a themed edition for Works-For-Me-Wednesday. This time around the topic is how to help kids beat the summertime boredom blues. Here are a few tips and suggestions I have to hopefully prevent boredom from even becoming a factor.
Part of the reason kids get so bored in the summer is because there is no apparent structure to their day. They are used to being in school where they were accustomed to plans and routines. Half the battle in fighting boredom is providing a general and loose schedule for the children, especially younger ones. For example, this summer I am going to make sure to do the following things every day with my kids, preferably around the same time each day. Of course we will also keep flexibility and spontaneity in mind:
- Quiet time (playing, coloring, reading, etc.)
- Educational time (practice math skills, write reports, practice handwriting, cook, arts and crafts, science and nature, etc.)
- Spend time outside to help them get exercise and to prevent them from going stir crazy (nature walks, wading pools, going to the zoo, playing at the park, riding bikes, etc.)
I also want to plan a few big outings as well. We will probably schedule these at the beginning of summer and then make a paper chain to countdown to them.
Finally, at the beginning of summer break, and with the help of your children, brainstorm a list of fun activities for them to do. Involving them in this step is critical because it will help give them ownership of their supposed boredom and it will teach them how to solve their own problems, an essential life skill to have. They will soon realize “boredom is a state of mind,” something my mother continually reminded me when I was younger.
When your child proclaims their boredom, simply direct them to choose an item from their ready made list. To add a little variety to life they can even write their activities on slips of paper and then randomly choose an item from a container. You could also have the activities broken down into a few different sections, a section for things they can do on their own at home, a section for places to go as a family and a section for things to do at home with help.
Even though Keri still has a few weeks left of school, we have already started talking about some things she would like to do:
- Go to the wading pool
- Write an animal report on zebras
- Write and illustrate a book
- Visit the library
- Draw and color
- Have a playdate
- Read a book
- Play board games
- Go to the park
- Play with dress-up
- Paint toe and finger nails
- Ride bikes
- Fly kites
- Have a picnic (outside or inside)
- Watch a movie and eat popcorn
- Play with play-doh
- Go on a short hike
- Make homemade lemonade
- Bake a cake
- Visit local museums and city centers
- Go to the Farmer’s Market
- Make necklaces
- Play educational games on the computer
If you have any suggestions on how to beat summertime boredom, please share your ideas. I am sure many of us would benefit from your thoughts on the matter .