Beat the Heat

Beating Summer BoredomSummer activities to keep boredom at bay.

Why does summer sometimes prompt children to pout? Experts say it’s almost inevitable for kids’ enthusiasm to wane once the first blush of summer has faded. Helping a child to overcome boredom is not an insurmountable challenge. Look for creative and interesting activities for your child to do, especially ones that promote quality time together.

Here are some activities that can dispel the doldrums, including some in which mom and dad can take part.

Put on a show:  One of the best ways to spark children’s imaginations during the summer is to have them put on a play. Give kids a few suggestions for children’s stories that they can act out, or have them make up characters and story lines of their own. Or, have the children put on a talent show, where each child displays his or her best talent – such as singing, dancing, telling a story or joke.  Make sure that every child participating in the play or talent show gets lots of applause, and even a little prize.

Cook something up: Following a recipe that has many ingredients – such as a batch of chili – is a great way to teach focus and organization. Younger kids can help gather and arrange ingredients. Older children can learn about chopping and slicing. No one tends to be bored when there are sweets around, so consider showing the kids some baking basics. Homemade chocolate-chip cookies are a great go-to for a hands-on summer activity.

Backyard haven: Camping in an improvised tent in the backyard may first come to mind as a child’s favorite summer pastime. Backyards are conducive of lots of other fun things to do, such as hanging a bird feeder, flying paper airplanes, learning to identify trees and flowers, catching fireflies, planting seeds or giving the dog a bath. Another favorite pastime, when there are not too many neighborhood lights, is star gazing! Consider purchasing an inexpensive telescope to make this fun summer activity even more interactive for your kids.

Rained out: We all like summer to be about blue skies and sunshine, but rain eventually comes, sometimes for days. Television and video games don’t have to be the only fallbacks for rain, try card games and card tricks, or a treasure hunt. With a little imagination and preparation, you can plant some small prizes around the house and devise clever clues to lead the kids to the treasure. Everyone will get caught up in the joy of the hunt.

Keeping a diary: Writing in a diary or journal enables a child to record new experiences, muse about the world or dream of the future. Summer offers lots of opportunities to describe fun experiences, new friends, new games, or family outings. Recording summer activities is a great way to bring back nostalgic memories of a happy childhood later in life.

Helping hands: Because it’s hard to be bored when you’re helping someone in need or working for a cause, encourage kids to take advantage of the summer by helping others. Little ones could donate profits from a lemonade stand to a charity. Older kids could help an elderly neighbor with yard work or errands. Teens could volunteer for community cleanups or participate in walk-a-thons to raise funds for good causes. Boredom doesn’t stand a chance against the positive feeling your child will get from helping others.

What was your favorite summer activity as a child? Share it with us on Facebook.

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