180 Summer Boredom Busters

Ahhh...the lazy days of summer are here. Most parents look forward to the summer as a time to take things a bit slower and take a break from the routine hustle and bustle of the school year. And it seems inevitable that about two weeks into summer vacation the kids start to mutter those dreaded two words - "I'm bored."

Luckily, the summer months are filled with an abundance of things to do and see, you just need to be a little bit creative. Don't feel like going out? No problem, I've compiled oodles of ideas of things that you can do right at home, too. Here's a list of 180 budget friendly games to play, places to go and things to do and make that will help kiss the summer doldrums good-bye!

Places to go:

  • Go to the beach or a nearby lake.
  • Go to the park or a playground.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Go fishing.
  • Go swimming.
  • Go on a picnic-even if it is on the living room floor!
  • Go fly a kite.
  • Go play miniature golf.
  • Go to a museum.
  • Go to a botanical garden.
  • Go berry picking.
  • Go for a boat ride.
  • Go bowling.
  • Go for a hike.
  • Go to an ice skating rink.
  • Go to a skate park-even if it's just to watch.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt.
  • Go out for ice cream or frozen yogurt.
  • Go to a local gymnasium or community center.
  • Go play in a fountain.
  • Go to the local library.
  • Go horseback riding.
  • Go to a zoo or wildlife center.
  • Go to a local farmers market or roadside produce stand.
  • Go to a baseball game.
  • Go to a marine or environmental learning center.
  • Go consignment shopping and stock up on school clothes.
  • Go on a camping trip-the backyard will do!
  • Go to a waterpark.
  • Go to a movie.

Games to play:

  • Catch up on your favorite video games or learn some new ones.
  • Play Charades.
  • Play some ball-any ball-kick ball, soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, etc.
  • Play patty cakes.
  • Play dress up.
  • Play in the rain-jump in some puddles.
  • Play the Freeze dance game.
  • Play Simon Says.
  • Play school-go ahead, break out the dry erase board.
  • Play with Barbies, dolls, trucks, trains, Legos or any of the games they want to play.
  • Play hide and seek.
  • Play cards.
  • Play hopscotch.
  • Play any board game.
  • Play eye spy.
  • Play tag or freeze tag.
  • Learn how to play jacks.
  • Play pick-up sticks.
  • Play checkers or chess.
  • Play Tic-Tac-Toe.
  • Play in a sprinkler.
  • Play jump rope.
  • Play Frisbee.
  • Thumb wrestle. 1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a thumb war!
  • Have a staring contest.
  • Find some age appropriate website with learning games.
  • Have a limbo contest.
  • Make up your own game.

Things to Make:

  • Build a fort-chairs, towels and old sheets work fine.
  • Draw, paint or create something!
  • Plan a meal, pick out the ingredients and cook together.
  • Bake and decorate cookies, a cake or cupcakes-yummy!
  • Make something together (sew, glue, nail, paint)-anything that you can say you did together.
  • Make up some jokes together.
  • Create a time capsule together.
  • Create a chore chart.
  • Create a family tree and spend time researching it together.
  • Start a scrap book.
  • Make homemade potato chips or fries.
  • Make some instruments-rice in a cup with tape, the good ol' sandpaper and blocks will do or spoons.
  • Learn to make a beaded bracelet or necklace. (Macaroni works great!)
  • Learn Macramé.
  • Make homemade pizza.
  • Learn how to make compost.
  • Make homemade paper.
  • Make a collage of all the things you would like to do...or all the things you have done.
  • Freeze some orange juice or bananas for yummy cool treats.
  • Make a movie! Pull out the video recorder collecting dust.
  • Learn Origami.
  • Make some beautiful art with sidewalk chalk.
  • Paint a piece of furniture.
  • Make fresh squeezed orange juice.
  • Make a bird feeder.
  • Make homemade ice cream.
  • Make some smoothies or a milkshake.
  • Make paper airplanes and have races.
  • Make some Jello. It's just as much fun as it was when you were a kid.
  • Learn how to knit or crochet.
  • Press some flowers and create your own cards.
  • Paint some jeans or a T-shirt.
  • Tie dye something.
  • Make a pretend camp and make s'mores.
  • Write a book-it could become a bestseller.
  • Start a journal.
  • Write a play or a musical.
  • Create a lemonade stand.
  • Start making holiday gifts or ornaments-it's never too early!
  • Build a sandcastle.
  • Break out the old rug hook project you never finished in the 70s.
  • Put together a first aid kit for your home and automobile.
  • Make birthday and holiday cards for the upcoming year.
  • Make puppets out of paper lunch bags.
  • Make some mud pies.
  • Invent something.

Things to Do:

  • Read a book.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Teach the kids to bob for apples.
  • Sing songs together-introduce them to your favorite music!
  • Sing songs together-learn their favorite music!
  • Teach your child to weed, mow a lawn or garden.
  • Dance together-go ahead, get funky. Teach them the Electric Slide.
  • Lie down on the ground and watch the clouds together.
  • Read the Sunday comics together.
  • Plant something! A few seeds in a planter will do-kids love getting dirty, so get out there and create a garden.
  • Wash the car.
  • Give the dog or family pet a bath.
  • Send a post card to an old friend or make one with a photo/drawing.
  • Learn CPR.
  • Hunt for 4-leaf clovers or bugs.
  • Learn yoga together.
  • Teach your child to sew on a button.
  • Teach your child to set a table.
  • Have a water balloon fight.
  • Learn some sign language or a foreign language.
  • Have a backwards day. Have dinner for breakfast, desert before dinner and so on.
  • Learn how to surf - you can even learn on the living room floor with a towel!
  • Collect all the change in the house and cash it in.
  • Teach your child to write in cursive.
  • Learn calligraphy.
  • Teach your child how to handwrite a letter and send it off via snail mail.
  • Start a recycling plan/system in your home.
  • Adopt a Street. Contact your local Keep America Beautiful office. gogreenfl.org.
  • Donate your time at a local food bank or back-to-school supply drive.
  • Talk about ways you can do things together-like go green, save energy, grocery shop-anything!
  • Start an exercise program with the kids and try to stick to it.
  • Spend time learning about the nonprofit organizations in our area and choose at least one to devote some time for volunteering together.
  • Talk about yourself-tell them stories about what it was like when you were their age...old pictures and yearbooks work great!  (They don't care that you had "big" hair!)
  • Take silly pictures
  • Take some family photos and enter them in The Kids Cover Photo Contest at TCParenting.com
  • Teach your child to take, edit and upload photos.
  • Teach your child to sew, braid, tie shoes or make a knot, use the dishwasher, dryer, change a tire or any other life-long skill worth learning. (Age appropriate of course!)
  • Do a puzzle-go ahead, get a huge 1000-piece puzzle and put it on your dining room table or in a place that you can keep it for a while until it gets completed.
  • Have a mini-makeover session, mud mask, bath, makeup, style hair or paint nails. If you can get them to rub your back-even better!
  • Invite over a few friends for a sleepover-why not!?
  • Have a pillow fight.
  • Take a cooking class.
  • Clean out the closets and donate stuff to a favorite charity or cash in on consignment.
  • Try to learn to juggle.
  • Teach your child how to look for the expiration dates on foods or how to read the labels.
  • Blow some bubbles.
  • Collect some rocks.
  • Sing karaoke.
  • Teach your child to row or sail a boat.
  • Plan a road trip and map out the course-even if it is across town!
  • Crank up some tunes and create an air band.
  • Teach your child to do something you love doing.
  • Plan and a host a party-come as you are, potluck or anything!
  • Practice fire safety and create an escape plan.
  • Have a tea party. (Hot cocoa will do too!)
  • Prepare for a hurricane, tornado or disaster-check batteries in flashlights and organize a list of what you will need.
  • Bang on the pots and pans.
  • Plan a week's menu and go grocery shopping-stick to the list.
  • Cook a week's worth of dinners and freeze them. Kids love to help.
  • Host a hula hoop contest.
  • Collect pinecones.
  • Collect shells.
  • Hold a watermelon seed spitting contest.
  • Plan the next weeks' worth of outfits.
  • Schedule all your child's doctor and dentist appointments.
  • Read the paper together and talk about the news.
  • Redecorate a room.
  • Teach your child to skip rocks.
  • Have your child teach you how to text or use an iPod if you don't know how.
  • Come up with a business plan for babysitting, lawn mowing, lemonade stand or anything your child has interest in.
  • Put together a bag of things for your kids to do when you have to run errands or wait in a waiting room.
  • Talk to them about what they want to be when they grow up and research what they need to do to accomplish that goal.
  • Wash a bike, scooter or skateboard.
  • Drive your car downtown and just walk around and window shop.
  • Change your voicemail greeting together.
  • Write down a list of all the things you can do when you have nothing to do!

 

Kara Ferraro is a publisher and freelance writer with two elementary aged children. She is always looking for clever, budget friendly activities to do with her family.