Fun ideas to alleviate summer boredom

Boredom-busting ideas you already know and love but may have forgotten in the heat of summer!

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  • When kids complain of boredom, sometimes it really does seem as if there's nothing to do. But a little brainstorming can lead to a lot of cool ideas. Here are a few activities that will prepare you for those "mom, I'm bo-o-o-r-r-red" bomb droppers.

  • Enjoy the great outdoors

  • Go fishing

  • Cook and eat anything you catch.

  • Go camping

  • even for only one night, in a tent, camper, or just under the stars!

  • Go hiking or enjoy long walks in nature

  • Collect rocks or wildflowers to dry. Take photographs.

  • Take a picnic lunch or dinner to a park — even on a weeknight

  • Go casual with paper plates or even fancy with china and table cloths.

  • Swim in a lake or river

  • Float on inner tubes.

  • Put up a slip-and-slide mat in your yard

  • There are many backyard water activities that can keep kids cool and pass the time. Run through the sprinklers. Have a water balloon fight.

  • Go biking

  • Go for a trail ride or ride downtown to get ice cream instead of taking the car.

  • See local attractions

  • Visit a botanical garden, zoo or animal sanctuary.

  • Go ice blocking

  • Find a grassy hill and slide down it on a block of ice. This is a fun way to go "sledding" in the summer.

  • Get Active with sports

  • For example, have a family tennis tournament. Go golfing. Play a game or just hit a bucket of balls and putt on the green. Try Frisbee golf or miniature golf. Take everyone horseback riding. Visit the YMCA, recreation center or gym and workout together. Try a yoga-for-kids class.

  • Get in the water

  • Go water skiing or rent a jet ski, canoe or kayak.

  • Stay indoors (if necessary)

  • On a super hot day, go bowling. Go ice skating or visit a roller skating rink.

  • Attend a baseball game

  • You don't need to have a professional baseball team in your area. Baseball is fun to watch at any level.

  • Enjoy yummy food

  • Bake some tasty treats

  • Kids love kneading dough. Bake bread, rolls, cinnamon buns, cupcakes or breadsticks. Get creative and try new recipes and fancy toppings.

  • Throw a pizza party

  • Everyone chooses toppings and makes their own favorite masterpiece.

  • Cool off with frozen treats

  • Make homemade ice cream. Have an ice cream sundae or root beer float party. Make Popcicles in freezer molds. Prepare smoothies and serve in fancy glasses with fruit skewers or umbrella straws.

  • Visit a farmer's market

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  • Let your kids pick out dinner. Or, find a working farm where you can see animals, buy fresh milk or cheese or pick your own berries or apples.

  • Try your hand at gardening

  • Plant a garden in your yard or in pots or even on your window sill, just to watch the seeds sprout. Don't worry if it doesn't turn out perfectly.

  • Play fun games

  • Become a kid again

  • Visit an arcade, amusement park or water park.

  • Organize outdoor games

  • Have a sack race with old pillow cases. Take a large sheet outside and have everyone grab a side and lift it up and down like a parachute. Build an obstacle course in your yard with buckets, ropes, boards and boxes to jump over and crawl under. Time how long it takes to run through your course.

  • Think inside the box

  • Get large cardboard boxes from an appliance store. Build forts or medieval castles and cut out interesting shapes.

  • Get out and ride

  • Use chalk and draw a road lines on your driveway for scooters, roller skates and bikes. Include stop signs, traffic lights and even stores to visit.

  • Night games during the day

  • Play old fashioned street games like sharks and minnows, capture the flag, car lot, kick the can and hide and seek. Kids love it when parents play too.

  • Enjoy some "unplugged" fun

  • See if your family can go TV free for a week. Play charades, checkers, card games and chess instead.

  • Start creative craft projects

  • Garage sales

  • Hold a garage sale or attend one and look for treasures.

  • Try a new hairstyle

  • It can grow out before school starts if you don't like it. Or just experiment with curlers, braids and buns.

  • Try your hand at carpentry

  • Build something with scrap wood using hammers, nails and paint.

  • Create puppets with socks and buttons

  • Have a puppet show.

  • Make a pinata

  • You can make one with paper Mache. Stuff it with treats and then smash it.

  • Christmas in July

  • Begin making handmade gifts for Christmas.

  • Learn a new skill

  • Learn to knit or crochet at your local yarn store. Build a simple cardboard loom and try weaving.

  • Do artwork

  • Paint or draw self-portraits or portraits of your family members or pets. Finger paint on butcher paper outdoors with younger children.

  • Create personalized dinnerware

  • Visit a ceramics shop and create hand printed plates.

  • Creative jewelry

  • Buy some beads and make necklaces, or use painted macaroni and string.

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  • Get out the summer reading list

  • Start a book club with kids in your neighborhood.

  • Sometimes all it takes is a single idea to get your children (and yourself) out of the doldrums and enjoying summer vacation. Just pick an activity from the list and get them started on something. Watch with amazement as their imaginations take over.

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Jill Meyer, a devoted wife and mother of two teenagers, is a perpetual student of life and passionate seeker of optimal health and upliftment for herself and others.

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