Kids count down the days the days till summer, eager to trade their book bags for flip -flops with carefree abandon. But it’s not long before Moms everywhere hear the dreaded words, “I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.” Here are some neat ideas to help beat the summer slump without putting a major beating on your wallet.
- 1. Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
Have kids scour the neighborhood for specific items on a checklist (a house with green shutters, a bush with pink flowers, a chestnut, etc.). You might want to let kids use a digital camera to snap photos of their finds. Create your own list or download a list.
- 2. Cheap Flicks
Many theaters have a summer movie program for kids. Movies are shown early in the day at reduced rates. Check with your local theater or click on the link for Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse.
- 3. Free Bowling
Kids Bowl Free is a great program that offers kids two free games of bowling each day during the summer. There are many bowling alleys throughout the country that take part in this program. Check out this link to see if a center near you participates in the program.
- 4. Get Crafty
Take a trip to the craft store to stock up on beads to create jewelry or wood to make birdhouses. Then let your kids sell their crafts at a local flea market. Creative kids can make terrific entrepreneurs.
- 5. Family Yard Sale
Your kids can clean out their closets and toy boxes, while finding items to sell. Have them design yard sale signs, posters, and price tags. They might also want to set up a lemonade stand during the big day. Your kids’ rooms will be less cluttered and their piggy banks will be a little fuller.
- 6. Backyard Water Park
No pool? No sweat! Squirt guns, water balloons, and sprinklers can convert your yard into a water park. Make a “car wash” by letting the kids ride their bikes through the sprinkler. These ideas are sure to make a splash.
- 7. Visit the Library
Many libraries have summer reading programs for kids. They can rack up prizes for reading books, while participating in fun activities. Check with your local library for details.
- 8. Lap the Mall
Malls aren’t just for shopping. Grab your sneakers and head to the mall with your kiddos. See how many laps you can do around the mall. Challenge your kids to set a weekly goal. It’s a great place to get a little exercise on a rainy summer day.
- 9. Go High Tech
Have your kids use the computer to design their own cards, stationary, or calendars. Most personal computers come equipped with a desk top publisher program. Kids can get creative with different graphics and fonts, adding digital photos to personalize their designs. They can create thoughtful gifts for friends or relatives.
- 10. Lend a Hand
Helping others is a valuable way to spend time. Kids can make cards for residents at a nursing home, create care packages for soldiers, or help an elderly neighbor carry groceries. Even small acts of kindness can make a big difference.
Don’t let your kids turn into video game junkies during summer break. Instead have them try some of these some fun and productive ideas to make the most of their summer break.