Your kids haven't been out of school longer than two weeks, but they're already chanting "I'm bored!" every 10 minutes. Does this sound familiar? Instead of giving in to the screentime monster, here are some ideas to get their minds challenged and their bodies active all summer long.
Explore the world around you
Whether you're hiking in the beautiful mountains, strolling on a sunny beach or at home in your own backyard, there is always something new and exciting to find around you. Make a game out of it, and send them on a scavenger hunt. Older kids can look for interesting shaped rocks, shiny seashells or creepy-crawly bugs. Younger kids can point out red cars or birds. When they're all done, have them draw what they found.
The perfect way to spend a quiet summer afternoon is to read. Find a spot under a shady tree or curl up in your favorite chair at home. If your kids are old enough to read, have them see who can read the most pages in a half hour. If you only have little ones, snuggle up and read a story to them. When everyone is done, gather together and read them one of your favorite books from when you were their age. A chapter a day might take the whole summer.
Discover a little culture
You may be surprised to find out what museums and parks around you have cheap, or free, family activities. Whether your kids are into art, animals or astronomy, you'll be sure to find something for everyone.
What better time to experiment in the kitchen than a boring summer day? There's no rush in getting the food on the table. Show your kids how to chop, stir, grate and even grill. Summer is the perfect time to get the freshest ingredients. Feeling brave? Let your kids come up with the menu. You might find a new family favorite — or maybe not.
Hit the splash pad
Splash pads are popping up practically everywhere these days. What's not to love about them? They are free, there is no deep water to worry about, and they are fun for ages 1 to 100. Relax in the shade while you watch your little ones run wild in the water, or better yet, run wild in the water WITH your little ones.
There are tons of online games that are both fun and educational. Your kids won't know what hit them. They will think they're just playing an exciting new game, but what you won't tell them is that they are getting their math and reading done too. Their teachers will thank you for it.
"I'm bored!" It's the two words every parent detests. Next time you hear it from your children's mouths, you'll be ready for them. This summer won't drag on or be the least bit boring. This summer will be the summer they never forget.