By Karen Green
Hard to believe that it’s August already, but that doesn’t mean the summer is over! I would be ok with a few more months of easy, breezy days, but if you’re running out of ideas to keep the kids busy before they get back to school, here are a few more ways to help stave off the dreaded, “Mom, I’m bored!”
1. Visit a “pick-your-own” farm. Blueberries, peaches, and some raspberries are abundant in mid-August, and apples will be starting soon. Spend a morning out in the fields, and spend the rest of the day admiring—and sampling—your bounty. Visit PickYourOwn.org to find a farm near you.
2. Embark on a “use-it-all” challenge. This summer, my daughters, ages four and seven, were issued a challenge: create a world using up every single piece of Lego we have. And we have a lot of Lego. This has become our go-to activity for when we are at a bit of a loss for something to do (or I just need a few minutes to attend to something other than my kids). Lots of other “everythings” could work here, too —put together every puzzle, make a craft using every (clean, safe) thing in the recycle bin, or every scrap of pretty paper you’ve been saving.
3. Visit a new playground. Personally, I hate the playground (that’s a post for another day), but of course my kids enjoy it. Part of my playground fatigue is that it is the same routine, same games, same arguments every time we go. So I took the kids to a park just a little bit farther from our home, and voila! We all had a great afternoon. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest.
4. Host a lemonade stand. Or a bake sale, or an art show, or a book swap. Kids of all ages enjoy helping to organize these kinds of “events” (whether private, for family or open to friendly neighbours) and there are so many ways for them to keep busy—from preparing the wares for sale or swap and decorating the stand to manning the booth and interacting with “customers.” And if your kids do make some cash out of it, you’ve got a great opportunity to teach them about the joy of giving some back to charity.
5. Ask your kids what they want to do. Part of the reason we parents suffer from so-called “summer burnout” is because we take it upon ourselves to be the planners as well as the executors. There’s a reason a movie set has a producer as well as a director, and it can be surprisingly fun to allow your kids to dictate how the day will go. And challenge yourself to say “yes” to any request that is within logistical reason—you might be surprised at just how simple their idea of fun actually is.
For more summer fun ideas, check out these free summer activities for kids.
Karen Green recently traded life in the biggest city in Canada for life in the biggest cornfield in Canada. Freed from her full-time job as a writer and editor, Karen now spends her time…writing and editing. And frolicking in the leaves with her two small girls. Karen is a speaker, the founder of Mom The Vote and the author of the blog, The Kids Are Alright, where she has been writing about the humorous and poignant moments of family life since 2005.