School is out, which means friends will be off to camps and your days are about to get a whole lot longer. But wait, your child is expecting a summer of fun and you have all the power to make it so; make a pledge-- no summer boredom! Even if your budget is low and your time is limited, there is still a wealth of activities that will make your child's summer fun, all without a screen in sight.
1. DIY Days With the advent of Pinterest, the DIY possibilities are endless. The most basic ingredients can result in hours of fun. Spice up the pet rock idea by bringing out some paint and stick on googly eyes--all of a sudden a boring pet rock is a colorful, silly creature that is just begging to be named and carried around. Encourage your child to experiment with shapes and sizes, letting imagination take over. If rocks aren't their thing, save some toilet paper or paper towel rolls and help your child make awesome paper roll animals. Or help them mix up a batch of sidewalk foam paint and let out their inner Picasso. If all else fails, who doesn't love tye dye shirts? Or socks, or hand puppets or just about anything you can imaging. The possibilities are endless and DIY can help instill a sense of confidence and ramp up that creativity drive.
2. Make the Everyday Fun Here you are with your list of chores and a bored kid to entertain, what can you do? Bring your kids into it! Children love to be included and they also love to spend time with the adults in their life; you might have to get a little creative, but there are ways to make even chores fun. Need your car washed? Get into bathing suits and throw a fun splash and suds party all the while getting that car clean. Making a meal? Let you child help by making ingredient-getting a competition. Not only are you having fun, you are also getting some major quality bonding time.
3. The School of Nature Whether you live in the countryside or an urban jungle, there is wildlife to observe. Hand your child that science cap and a pair of binoculars and start exploring! Consider a bird watching adventure, encouraging your child to listen to the different sounds and observe the appearances of each bird; starting a birding journal can extend this into a summer-long project and maybe even a life-long interest. But you're not limited to birds, explore the habits of deer in your area, pick up some rocks and take note of the bugs that have taken shelter there, visit a local animal shelter and ask for more information. The animal kingdom is vast and far-reaching and there is no shortage of interesting facts that can be gleaned from it.
4. Summer Science In school "science" may be a boring subject that your kid can't wait to get through, but in real life, science is a fantastic adventure, replete with great mysteries and even greater possibilities. Teach your child to appreciate the intricacies of the universe by doing some summer science. Who wouldn't want to make rain clouds in a glass, observe a sand volcano or create a bottle rocket? The joy and wonder that you'll see in their eyes may translate to a love of learning and a slew of better grades, but for now all you need to know is that it will be a whole lot of fun.
5. Take A Trip Around the World...in Your Own Neighborhood No need to shell out big bucks on plane tickets, take your child on a summer trip to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco--wherever the mood takes you! Have a weekly international day or visit a new country each morning by having your child help you make an easy recipe that has roots in a different culture, listening to some international music, learning a few phrases in a foreign language or exploring the cultural myths of another land.
Education and fun have never been better matched! Make these ideas your own or use them as point of reference before jumping on with your own, better plans. Just remember, the fun is just around the corner so there is no excuse for summer boredom!