Summer was always my favorite season when I was younger. We could play and sleep all we wanted. Of course I always had summer dance and art programs to attend, but oh how I loved the freedom from a structured school schedule.
No reading assignments.
No stress of papers or projects.
But now that I’m a parent, I see the dangers in letting our kids just run loose for months. And as a homeschooler, I see the summer slide first hand. We struggle every year to help them remember what they’ve learned over the last nine months. And every year we say we are going to do better.
So while I can’t put my kids in summer programs to keep their brains active and occupied, I have to find new and creative ways to do so at home. This year we will be doing a little bit of schoolwork each day in hopes to avoid the summer slide. They will have a daily math lesson, language arts page or two and reading to help keep their minds active.
But if you’ve been parent long enough you, you know I will soon hear the dreaded words, “I’m bored!”
It can be tough to keep kids entertained all summer – especially when they seem to have an endless amount of energy. If you’re running low on ideas for ways to keep the kids entertained, you’re in luck! I’m sharing twenty of our favorite boredom busters to keep your kiddos busy and entertained this summer!
Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of the post for your FREE Printable Summer Bucket List!
Visit the park
Chances are, you aren’t too far from a local park. Walk, bike or drive over and let your kids spend an hour or so running around and burning off some energy. Let them swing, climb and run around ‘til they’ve had enough – or until you say it’s time to go home, whichever comes first!
Start a summer garden
Create a little plot in your yard or plant a few seeds in containers and watch them grow. You can research plants and/or vegetables that grow well in your climate this time of year. Be sure to find out when the best time to plant and harvest is also. Download our Garden Unit Study to give you a little schooling too!
Participate in a sport
While summer is the off-season for most sports, many independent leagues still run a summer season. Sports are a great way to keep your kid fit, instill important values like teamwork, all while allowing them to have fun. Check your local clubs and city sports office for more info!
Set up a lemonade stand
If your kids are looking to make a few bucks and embrace their inner entrepreneur, a lemonade stand can be a great way to keep them entertained and earn a little spending money, too! Teach them how to keep a tally sheet, a cash drawer/till, and and income/expense report to sneak in some learning while you’re at it. These adorable Lemonade Stand Printables are sure to be a hit too!
Check out your local library
You might be surprised to see just how much your library has to offer. Aside from free book rentals, many libraries host lots of free events and reading challenges geared toward kids and families, especially during the summer months.
There’s no better way to burn off your kid’s energy than to spend a few nights in the woods. Between hiking, biking, swimming and telling stories around a campfire, your little ones will be tired out and thoroughly entertained! Invite some friends along for even more fun! These Camping printables would be a great addition to your trip!
Draw with sidewalk chalk
Sidewalk chalk is inexpensive, harmless, and lots of fun for little ones. As long as the sun isn’t too hot, send ‘em outside and let them color on the driveway ‘til they’re tired. They can make their own shapes, hopscotch squares and even trace each others shadows!
Learn to cook
Summer can be the perfect time to teach your kids how to cook one or two of their favorite recipes. As long as they’re old enough to safely operate (with parental supervision, of course!) in the kitchen. Let them pick out a new recipe or a favorite oldie to try out one night a week. They will be pro’s before you know it.
Make some slime
Slime is all the rage right now, and it’s something you can whip up right at home. There are so many fun and inventive recipes you can try with your kids. Give one of these a try when you’re ready.
Call up the local bowling alley and see what kind of specials they run during the summer. Many offer two-for-one games, free shoe rentals, or other deals to entice people to come in during the day.
Read a book
Some kids may roll their eyes at the idea of spending their spare time reading, but others still see the value in picking up a good book and getting lost in a story. If your kid is bored but loves to read, a new book could be all they need to stay entertained for hours. Try this summer reading list to help!
Invent a new game
If your kids are tired of all the board games around your house, challenge them to create one of their own – and teach it to the whole family! This is great for teamwork and keeping those creative juices flowing!
Watch a movie
Kids should try to spend a good amount of time away from screens, but sometimes, watching a great movie can be the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Let your kids revisit an old favorite or choose something new to watch together. Don’t forget to check out all our movie studies to add in a little learning!
Put them to work around the house
Summer is the perfect time to add a few extra chores to the weekly lineup. Find one or two tasks you could use some help with and put them out!
Hit the pool
Swimming and splashing around in a nearby pool can be a great way to burn off some energy and beat the summer heat. Locate a city pool, join the YMCA, visit a local splash pad/pool a couple of times a month or make plans with friends!
The earlier you can teach your kids the importance of volunteering and giving back to their community, the better. See if you can find a way to volunteer with your kids for an easy way to stay busy and have fun, too.
Build an obstacle course
Does your child dream of becoming the next American Ninja Warrior? If so, set up a quick obstacle course in the backyard and challenge them to run, leap and climb their way around.
Play yard games
Get some sun and enjoy the fresh air by playing games in the backyard. Try teaching the kids how to play cornhole, croquet, horseshoes or bocce ball for a fun way to spend those long summer afternoons.
Send them on a scavenger hunt
Set up a scavenger hunt around your home or backyard, write down some clever clues, and send the kids on a chase that will hopefully keep them busy for a little while.
Challenge them to build something
Put their minds to work and see what they can come up with! Whether you challenge them to create a fort in your living room, a popsicle stick tower, or a house of cards, they’ll be surprised to see how much fun they have when they’re making something new.
How do you keep your kids busy when school’s out? Are there certain games or crafts that can keep your kiddos occupied for hours? Try one of these twenty ideas to bust their boredom or print out this FREE bucket list. There is a prefilled one and a blank one to use as you want!
Download the Summer Bucket List
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