When school’s out for summer and the initial euphoria eventually wears off, children can quickly grow bored. Too much freedom is, ironically, hard on your youngest children, who thrive on the routine the preschool and regular caretakers provide.
Fortunately, you can add some fun summer activities to your daily life that will keep your little ones entertained. Who knows? You might even develop a new summer tradition that your family looks forward to every year. Try these ideas to get started.
1. Plant a Bean Pole Teepee
Children love to try on a little responsibility, but if your child isn’t ready for a pet, try a plant instead. Planting pole beans is an easy task, since the seeds are large enough for small hands to handle easily. To make the project even more fun, use bamboo poles to form a teepee that’s large enough for your child to play in. As the beans grow up the poles, your child will enjoy curling up in this shady hideaway.
2. Make a Rainy Day Bucket
When it’s not nice enough to play outside, kids get bored quickly. Avoid turning to the television and computers by making a special box or bucket full of rainy day craft projects. You can add coloring books, a special set of crayons or markers, construction paper scissors, glitter and glue. The trick to making the rainy day bucket special is to keep it hidden until a moment of bad-weather boredom.
3. Head to the Library
Local libraries often have special programs for children in the summer, so connect with yours to see what’s available. You can also make a weekly date to browse the shelves for new books to read. Even if your child is only flipping through the pages and can’t read alone yet, showing him or her that books are special and sharing regular story time together is a crucial part of early childhood development.
4. Learn to Cook
Knowing how to cook a healthy meal is critical for a healthy lifestyle, and it’s never too early to start teaching your child these skills. Young children absolutely love to help you with chores, so bring them into the kitchen while you cook. Small hands can help you measure, stir, punch down bread dough or pour ingredients into a bowl. Let your child suggest recipes to try together, and you’ll both have a blast!
5. Take a Walk
Don’t underestimate the power of some simple exercise to beat the boredom blues! When your children start to show signs of crankiness, it’s time to get out of the house. Try a new route, or spice up your regular neighborhood walking routine by playing “I Spy” or searching for animals, birds or flowers. Turn your walk into a miniature nature hike by bringing a sketchbook or camera and letting your child document what you see — you can put it into a booklet later as a rainy-day art project.
Summer is a one of the best times of year, and these activities will make sure your child enjoys it to the fullest. Don’t forget to capture all the magic with photos, too! These will make great memories for sharing with faraway family and friends via the Lifecake app, or you can choose your favorites to print in a keepsake photo book to get a head start on next year’s gift giving.