Keeping Your Kids Busy is Easier Than You Think
"Mommy, I'm bored." Might be three of the most dreaded words a mother can hear during what can be a very long summer if you don't have a plan of action to counter such an outcry from your kids. You probably hear it a bit during the school year but you can use school and after school activities to keep your kids mildly busy. But what do you do in the summer? Well there are plenty of activities for kids who are bored. You just have to decide which ones are for your kids and which ones would never possibly work and then be armed with ideas when that phrase will come out of their mouths. Because aside from sun, vacation and ice cream, it is guaranteed that you WILL hear these words during your summer.
Bored Kids Need Help in Keeping Occupied
So what are you to do with bored kids? First it depends on the child's age. There are some things you can suggest to an older kid that you can't to a young toddler. Plus the fact of the matter is that younger kids can stay self occupied easier with less fan fare. For instance, if you have a yard full of appropriate toys, a good fenced area and you know your child well enough, having your young toddler playing with their toys in the backyard is a great past time for them.
Toddlers and younger kids can always be encouraged to do crafts as well. There are many crafts that kids really like. Working with clay, crayons, and other arts and crafts is usually very enjoyable for a young child. Additionally, simple kid's puzzles are a lot of fun for them as is watching a movie. Some basic sports can be played in the back yard with a couple kids such as kick ball and tee ball type games. You can also suggest they build a fort in their room or outside. You can give them blankets or other materials to make it with.
Slightly older kids are more independent but tend to need company so you can start by trying to get a friend or two over or suggest they call a friend to go over to their house. Whichever you are comfortable with. You might want to have a parent's club to keep kids busy where you talk before hand about whose house is best, what activities they can do over at their house or maybe even have a schedule of who will take them on what day. Kids between 6 to 13 can do an awful lot of things without supervision. Such activities for kids who are bored include riding their bikes, skateboards or roller blades around the neighborhood if you are comfortable with that. They can play basketball if you have a hoop and have a good time doing it.
If they are of the age where they can read books then this is a great activity. I belonged to a summer book club all through my early years and loved getting the gold stars on my sheet to show to my Mom. They can always watch a movie. Or even write a letter to a grandparent or relative somewhere far away. If they are also of the age that they can have a lot of fun with the pets of the household. Just make sure they understand that dogs need shade and water and can't get overheated.
For bored kids that also happen to be teens with no car you probably have your biggest challenge because the chances are you will be driving them somewhere so they can make their own fun. Try to encourage them to bike to their friend's house if they can since this is good for them to get exercise and fresh air, not to mention that it is healthier and will help them practice self sufficiency. Again, only let them go on their own if you are comfortable that they can handle that, since only you know about that. If they are home, not only can they have "fun" but you can start instilling work ethics in them and pay them for some of the chores that you normally would do yourself, like laundry or dusting the living room and things that they are already responsible for like their own bedroom.
If you have older and younger kids that need something to do then you can ask the older ones for some help with keeping the younger ones occupied. Set up a scavenger hunt around the house and let them play for a bit. Board games that are an appropriate level and one that they can understand and play are often a good idea. Sports in the backyard are much easier when there is more than one child so have lots of sports and fun outdoor equipment for them outside. Also, everyone loves card games, just keep them simple.
And lastly for those kids who are bored on a hot day, water guns can be a blast. Water fights, running through sprinklers and having a tiny pool are all rites of summer and if you can allow them to indulge in these, you should.