Are you the type of parent who lives for summer vacation when the kids can be home all day, every day? Or do you have a countdown app on your phone until the moment you can drop those little heck-raisers back off at school and regain your independence? (You’re not a bad parent if that last one describes you. It’s normal.)
Either way, you’re probably running out of ways to keep the troops entertained at this point in your summer break. (We’re with ya there.)
You’ve probably already considered the good ol’ standbys like going to the pool, enjoying the beauties of the outdoors, and maybe even hitting up the local library. There’s nothing wrong with the classic activities, but we’re going to try to help you think outside of the box a little.
Sooooo…. without further ado, here are a few fun, creative ideas to help you hold out until school starts!
Embrace the boredom
Okay, okay — first of all, there’s nothing wrong with allowing the kids to be a little bored. After all, they say boredom breeds creativity. And it’s by no means your responsibility to be Captain Fun all the time. (Like, you’ve got a whole basket of laundry they can fold if they can’t think of anything to do, amirite?)
Boredom is also good for your mental health, according to the experts. How many artists, writers, scientists, and other big brains had a stroke of inspiration while they were doing something mundane? (Answer: a lot.) So, while you’re busy making plans, make sure you leave a little wiggle room to do absolutely nothing. All too soon, they’ll be resuming their usual school craziness and you’ll be longer for these slower days.
Create a backyard treasure hunt
This one is so crazy easy, you might just get away with doing it every day until school starts. (It works especially well with younger kids who don’t mind pretending they’re pirates and such. But if your teens are into that, too, go for it!)
All you really need to do is hide some sort of treat or small prize in your yard, give your kids a clue or two (or draw out a map if you’re the high-achieving type), and voila! You’ve got an activity that will probably keep them entertained for a good 20-30 minutes or more. To make it last longer, you can change it to a scavenger hunt where they have to find certain items in the yard.
For help creating your treasure hunt, here are some excellent ideas.
Hold your own baking show contest
Okay, who doesn’t love the Great British Bake Off, Cake Wars, Nailed It! and other friendly competition cooking/baking shows? Well, why not host your own contest at home? You can decide how complex you want it to be, but there are so many different ways to do it. If you have small children, you can break into teams, or if you’re feeling uber ambitious, you can even turn it into an elaborate party and invite other neighborhood kids. (GBBO even has a party pack you can download on your website if you decide to go that route!)
Whatever you do, keep it fun, simple, and as yummy as possible, and you’ve got a recipe for success!
Have a YouTube talent show
Pretty much anything you could ever want to learn how to do is on YouTube. (Seriously, you can even learn how to deliver babies here… though we wouldn’t recommend this as an activity for your children.) Give your kids anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 days (depending on how fancy you want to get) to find a talent/trick/funny thing to learn on YouTube and then put on a family talent show to display your newfound gifts.
Whether you want to learn how to whistle with your fingers or teach your cat to high-five, here are a few ideas to get you started!
Teach your kids how to be entrepreneurs
Having your own lemonade stand was a rite of passage growing up, but these days there’s a lot more a kid can do to earn a few bucks. They could host their own bake sale, sell handmade jewelry, make and sell hand soap, create fancy bookmarks, do some DIY fridge magnets… the list goes on! Tap into their interests and see what they can come up with. When all else fails, try Pinterest. :)
Throw a mini carnival for the neighbor kids
This one requires a bit more effort, but the payout is huge in terms of entertainment and memories. If you have the space in your yard or a nearby park, you can throw a mini carnival for the kids, complete with popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, face-painting, and games. You can even rent a bouncy house if you really want to go all out. And if your kids are old enough, you can put them 100% in charge of coming up with the activities they want to include so you don’t even have to lift a finger!
Unbox a bunch of fun and learning!
Nothing beats an activity that’s fun, engaging, AND really good for your kids’ brains, and this one takes the cake in that category. If you’re all about activities that teach your kids how to problem-solve and create things, KiwiCo is where it’s at. They deliver crates full of fun science and art projects to your door once a month, which always gives your family something to look forward to.
From babies to high schoolers, there’s something for everyone — and your kids will LOVE it. They might assemble a solar system, grow a garden for the window, or even put together a ukulele (that works!).
Every crate is tested by real-life kids, so you know these things will be well worth the low monthly fee. (You’ve probably seen Brigitte post about how much her girls love and look forward to it each month.) If you want to test the KiwiCo crates out, be sure to use code MODEST to get 30% off your first box!
There’s plenty more where that came from
And there you have it. Try any number of the things from this list and we promise these last few weeks of summer will be memorable ones.
But now it’s your turn. What are your favorite go-to summer activities with kids? We want to hear from you!