Summertime Boredom Busting Game Plan

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Summer vacation has just barely begun, yet the fighting, bickering and shouts of “I’m bored” have already emerged! What’s a Mom to do when she doesn’t want to use her backup babysitter (aka the TV) as a time passer? Here are just a few sanity-saving suggestions!

P.S. Hang with us to the end for a DIY guide to your very own Boredom Buster Jar!

The Summertime Boredom Busting Game Plan: 

~Great outdoors

  • Exercise
    Whether it’s a walk around the block searching for treasures (rocks, pine cones, leaves), jumping on the trampoline or relay races around the yard getting outdoors is essential to maintaining happy kids! It seems whenever my littles are feeling a bit stir crazy a little fresh air is just what the doctor ordered.
  • Rock painting
    Let the kids pick out whatever rocks they like and turn them into little masterpieces. Take it outside to contain the mess. Using acrylic paint and a little imagination, this activity will provide loads of fun. Think ladybugs, bees, flowers and abstract art.
  • Sand play
    Put some water in the sandbox and let the kids make sand castles. For some reason, sand is much more fun to play with when it’s wet.

~Get wet

  • Pool party/Slip ‘n’ Slide
    Fill up the kiddie pool/roll out the slip ‘n’ slide and slather on the sunscreen! Water time is a hit for any hot summer afternoon.
  • Water wars
    Bring out the squirt guns and water balloons and let your quarreling kiddos fight it out in a full on water battle.
  • Bike wash
    Have a bike wash (car wash for bikes). Get out the suds and sponges and let them shine up their wheels.

~Quiet time

  • Letters
    Have them write letters to their relatives. There’s nothing like good ol’ fashioned snail mail to make someone’s day. They can draw pictures and use stickers to decorate the envelope.
  • Journaling
    Encourage kids to snuggle up and write in a journal how they are spending their summer days or in coordination with the books they are reading. Illustrations welcome!
  • Reading
    All ages can read quietly in their rooms. Encourage younger kids to make up stories while they look at pictures or read to them and have them reciprocate.

~Get their craft on

  • Homemade play dough
    Check out the simple homemade play dough recipe I’m sharing with you below — straight from my childhood! Kids will love helping make it almost as much as they will love playing with it.
  • Marshmallow sculptures
    Using toothpicks and mini marshmallows have the kids make their own toothpick sculptures.
  • Treasure map
    Let their imaginations run wild and have them draw a treasure map on butcher paper. (Get in on the fun and create a treasure map for the kids to follow!)

~Food fun

  • Make popsicles
    Get creative and see what kinds of popsicles you can come up with.
  • Bake together
    Make cookies or cupcakes together and let the kids frost them. (On those super hot days, see who can dig up the yummiest no-bake recipes!)
  • Make lunch
    Have the kids help make sandwiches and pack a picnic lunch. Let them eat it in the backyard picnic style.

    DIY Boredom Busting Jar photo by Stephanie Toews
    DIY Boredom Busting Jar photo by Stephanie Toews

Here’s a super simple and adorable way to incorporate and store all of these ideas and many more.

DIY Boredom Buster Jar

Supplies:

-Mason jar

-Craft sticks

-Washi tape (3 different kinds to label categories)

-Sharpie

Directions:

  1. Gather ideas for your kiddos to do while they are bored. There are numerous other ideas available on Pinterest as well.
  2. Write each idea onto the craft sticks with your sharpie.
  3. Divide the ideas into categories such as outdoor play, quiet time, water fun, food fun and crafts. Tape each stick in the same category with the same color tape.
  4. Store your sticks in a jar and the next time you hear the dreaded “I’m BORED” phrase direct the kiddos to the jar for endless ideas.

Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Ingredients for homemade playdoh! photo by Stephanie Toews
Ingredients for homemade playdoh! photo by Stephanie Toews

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar (spice section)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup water

Food coloring

  1. Mix first 4 ingredients in a pan.
  2. Add water
  3. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes. Dough will become thick and hard to stir.
  4. Remove from stove and knead for 5 minutes adding food coloring while you knead.
  5. Add extract such as banana or mint for a fun scent.

Play dough will keep for a long time stored in an airtight container. We doubled the batch and made two colors.

Homemade Playdough photo by Stephanie Toews
Homemade Playdough photo by Stephanie Toews