Kids spend all school year dreaming of summer freedom. When that day finally comes, it seems like nothing in the world could get in the way of their happiness, but eventually the excitement wears off. By the end of the summer, kids are actually looking forward to school starting again (though they would never admit it) because excess leisure has left them bored and uncreative.
It’s a shame to waste the last precious days of summer on boredom, though. Even if you’ve checked off all of your major summer plans, you can still help your kids create memories that they will cherish later.
Movie quote day
Whenever I’m around my siblings, our conversations are always punctuated by our favorite movie quotes. One day, we decided to set aside an entire afternoon to speaking in movie quotes, which was much harder than we expected it to be. To make the game a little more fun, we granted each participant an hour of “free speech,” meaning they could say whatever they wanted while everyone else had to come up with clever quotes to respond with.
I’m not talking about a traditional read-a-thon, where everyone sits in their bean bags and reads silently for an hour. Have everyone pick a book — the more variety, the better — and sit in a circle. Instruct everyone to open to whatever page they want, and assign someone to read one sentence from his or her book. Then, go around the circle, having each person read one sentence from the book. I would recommend throwing a cookbook or instruction manual into the mix. It’s usually the “boring” books that make the funniest sentence combinations.
If you’d rather have your kids make up their own stories, grab a few sheets of paper, write a sentence at the top of a blank page and pass it along for the next person to write a sentence. Many a crazy story was concocted this way.
Build a fort
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, building forts is fun. If you really want to get into it, have a picnic in the fort or watch a movie from inside the fort.
If your kids are bored of the TV, maybe they’ll enjoy making their own movie. Gather as many props as you can find — old Halloween costumes, hats and toys — and put them in a pile. To get the creative juices flowing, suggest a few stories you could act out with your kids, such as a favorite scripture story or a new spin on a movie everyone likes. Encourage everyone to participate. To make things more interesting, make it a rule that every prop has to be used, even if it has nothing to do with the plot.
The last days of summer are precious, but it’s hard to remember that when you’ve already done everything you wanted to do. Stimulating the imagination is the best way to cure summer boredom and make the most of these special days.