I love summer! Long, hot, unstructured days… of course, my kids don’t always agree with my plans to sit and do nothing. They get bored faster than I can think of things to do at home or fun ways to keep them entertained.
So if you are desperate to keep your child busy…
but you don’t want to spend a lot of time googling and setting up an activity that they will finish in less time than you took to set it up…
then you need some boredom busters that you can quickly print and give to your kids.
These are some great and really quick ideas that you can quickly do with your kids and stave off that inevitable, “Mom, I’m Bored!” whines that drive me up the wall!
Print these out and put them on your wall or fridge, and have them ready to go! I have a handy printable for you- just scroll down!
42 Easy & Fun Summer Boredom Busters
Build a Backyard Obstacle Course
Put together your own backyard obstacle course with pool noodles, sticks, rings, and other items you find around your house. Putting together a backyard obstacle course for kids does not need to be difficult. If you have the space, then this can be an awesomely fun thing to do with your kids outside.
Do a Science Experiment
Science is fun, and it can be messy, making it a perfect outdoor activity for everyone! Make a volcano, help something grow, or just plain experiment. Remember always to follow safety procedures and don’t mix any chemicals without checking their safety first.
Have a Dancy Party
Turn on loud music and dance away! Keep yourself moving as much as possible. This is great if you have kids because they can join in the fun!
Go For a Bike Ride
Riding bikes is a great way to spend time with friends and family. You can ride around the neighborhood or find a biking trail for a bit more challenging ride. If your kids are learning how to ride, try to find an empty parking lot where they can practice.
Feed Ducks at The Pond
Take some bread that is getting stale and head over to the neighborhood pond to feed the ducks. You may also see some fish or frogs! This is a great way to see a little bit of nature in your own backyard.
Do Some Chores and Earn Money
Kids are bored? Give them some work to do! Have your children earn some pocket money by doing some extra chores around the house. These chores can be as simple as washing the dishes or as ambitious as cleaning out the garage. You’ll cross items off your to-do list and your kids will make some money and be entertained!
Make a Scavenger Hunt
Your backyard is a veritable treasure chest of fascinating things to find and explore. How do I know? Because all outdoor areas are! You can use one of my outdoor scavenger hunts or make your own and have your children learn all about what insects, plants, and things they can find in their backyard!
Make a Summer Scrap Book
Did you have fun crossing off items on your summer bucket list? Why don’t you take a picture and put it all together in a summer scrapbook? Have fun putting it all together and even more, fun reliving all the memories for many more years to come!
Go To The Library
We absolutely love the library! The library has everything! Not only is the library is the best place to get books, but many libraries have free or discounted programming for kids as well.
Doing your own toe-dye is the quintessential camp activity, but you don’t need camp to teach your kids how to do this fun project.
So instead, watch some YouTube videos, buy some plain white shirts (or repurpose some old ones), and make t-shirts that you can wear forever.
Have a Fancy Tea Party
Having a fancy tea party is a perfect summer boredom buster. Brew some tea, make some sandwiches, buy or make some pastries (scones and cream, anyone?) and head out to the garden and enjoy a lovely garden tea party. Feel free to be as glam as you want!
Water the Garden and Pull Weeds
Gardening is a handy skill, and it can be a lot of fun to get into the dirt. Grab some watering cans or just some large cups and get to watering. You can use any shovel to dig up some weeds and get your yard looking great. Don’t forget to wash your hands afterward!
Build a Giant Fort
Building a fort out of a table or chairs and some blankets is the perfect summer boredom buster. It does not use anything that needs to be purchased and can be an excellent distraction for the kids.
Grab some finger paints and have some fun! Painting is such a great and fun way to inspire creativity. Finger paints are a great sensory activity for young kids. You can have them paint on paper or on a plastic tablecloth.
Make a Homemade Pinata
Who needs a party to have a party game? Make your own pinata with paper, water and glue. This is a messy activity so make sure to wear your play clothes!
Camp Out In The Backyard
Consider stepping away from the electronics and going on an electronic-free camping trip. You don’t need to go far! Pitch your tent right in your backyard and don’t forget to build a campfire!
Make Paper Airplanes
Grab a stack of paper and a YouTube tutorial and make some paper airplanes. After you have an entire fleet assembled it’s time to test them out!
Have a Backyard Drive-In
Remember drive-ins? Make one in your own backyard. Pop some popcorn and have everyone outside (in cars or out) for a nostalgic backyard drive-in.
Go To a New Playground
Playgrounds are fun but can get boring if you visit the same one all the time. Stop the boredom and go to a different neighborhood and scout out a playground that is different from home.
Just the novelty of having a different layout and equipment will be sure to make some good memories. This is one of my favorite things to do with my kids because it is super cheap, aka free, and they love it too!
Have a Paper Bag Puppet Show
Grab some paper bags and make paper bag puppets! Pick a fairy story, and have them act it out with the puppets they have made. You can split this activity up into two parts to let the paper bag puppets dry.
Go To a Splash Pad or Public Pool
Summer is hot! Find the nearest splash pad or public pool and head there for a few hours of outdoor summer fun. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Paint a Birdhouse
You can make and paint a birdhouse to place in your yard. It’s the perfect time to set up a birdhouse. You can make your own or buy a pre-made house at a local craft store. Place it in your yard and watch all the birds congregate.
Make a Garden
Gardening is a handy skill, and it can be a lot of fun to get into the dirt. You can start a little vegetable, herb, or flower garden, depending on the space you have. If you have a lot of space, everyone can have their little plot to grow what they want as well! Gardening is a great way to show your kids how patience, hard work, and perseverance can pay off in big ways!
Wash The Car
Washing the car may be a chore for adults but it is the perfect summer boredom buster for children. Grab the hose, some buckets of water, sponges, and soap, and let them have fun getting themselves (and the car) wet and clean.
Make Road for Match-Box Cars With Chalk
Grab your chalk and create roads for your matchbox cars. You can get creative and draw a whole city! Have your follow the roads or race down them.
Go on a Nature Hike
If it’s not too hot, then head out on a hike! There are so many gorgeous, family-friendly hikes in all parts of the world- there is sure to be one near you. If you are in a place that gets very hot, consider waking up early in the morning and taking a sunrise hike. Don’t forget to wear hats, and sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Don’t forget to print this FREE scavenger hunt to take with you!
Paint Rocks for The Garden
Have everyone find a cool rock outside. Then, you all can use your imaginations to see the shape of something specific in that rock. Once you have figured out what your stone looks like, you can paint it, so it becomes that thing. For example, a smooth rock might look like a cat, so you can paint legs and eyes and fur on it to make it look like a real cat!
Make Homemade Play-Dough
Make your playdough with this recipe and then take out some cookie cutters or other random kitchen utensils (tuna strainer, knife, fork, different size measuring spoons and have them play around). This is a super fun sensory activity for children.
Make a Cardboard Box House
Have some extra boxes from all those delivered? Have the children color and decorate them to make a great cardboard box house.
Go To The Zoo
Take a trip to the zoo with the family. You can check out all kinds of exhibits with different animals, including elephants, giraffes, and more.
Make Mud Pies and Mud Castles
Grab your hose and make some mud! It may be messy but the fun memories will last a lifetime. You won’t be hearing cries of “I’m bored” while they are busy playing in the mud.
Play Pretend (school, hospital, restaurants)
Kids love when you play with them. Join in a game of pretend play and make their day.
Make Bracelets and Necklaces With Beads
All you need is a bag of beads and some string for an afternoon of crafting. You can make bracelets, necklaces and even keychains out of your beads. What a great summer activity.
Fly a Kite
Kite-flying can be tons of fun if the weather is right. Choose a clear day with a breeze to take out your kites and go running! Don’t have a kite? Make one yourself and see whose flies the highest.
Start a Puzzle
There is plenty of time to start a puzzle on those long summer days and nights. Choose a puzzle that the whole family can get into and see if you can finish it before the end of summer.
Play a Game and Make New Rules
Games are always fun but change it up to avoid getting bored. Pick any classic game and change the rules slightly- then play and watch the fun ensue.
Read a New Book
We love books and reading is such a great activity. Spice it up by having each kid pick a book with a specific theme (like sharing or money or something about sleep) and take turns reading out loud. If you have older kids, you can all cuddle up on the couch with a cup of tea or hot cocoa, and read all day!
Go Out For Lunch
Visit your favorite restaurant with your children for lunch. It’s an excellent way to spend time with them while eating delicious food. If you are on a tight budget, then make a restaurant lunch at home.
Play Freeze Tag or Hide & Seek
A massive game of hide & seek or freeze stage inside the whole house with adults and kids alike? Yes, please! Kids will enjoy hiding and finding parents in weird spots. With different family members of various sizes, everyone can find interesting places to hide.
Make “Thinking of You” Cards for Family
Making cards is good practice for your new writers. They can decorate the cards and envelopes for extra fun. It’s super fun to do and a lot of fun for someone to receive. Grandparents particularly love these types of things.
Write a Story
Writing a story can be done in a lot of ways. You can use a white/chalkboard to add words while everyone takes turns adding one word at a time. You can also write one altogether and put it on paper to bind together into a homemade book. Finally, you can attach this to the letter-writing activity and have the kids send a handwritten story to a loved one.
Let the kids put on some old clothes from your closet and make the craziest outfits they can think of. Then, the parents can pretend to be fashion show judges and score everyone’s costumes. Of course, the judges can dress up as well; no need to be left out of the fun!
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