It’s almost July 4th and school is still at least a month off. Are the kids bored? Need some activities to keep them busy? We put together a list of some popular activities that won’t break the bank. Put your favorites in a jar and you will have “boredom” solutions ready to go.
1. Stargaze in your backyard
Take a blanket and lay in the backyard (park or beach) and look at the stars. Can you spot some of the planets or even a satellite circling the earth?
2. Make a water blob
Feeling the heat? Sprinklers boring? Fold a plastic sheet in half and tape three of the sides closed. Use the hose to fill the sheeting and then tape the opening shut and let the kids run, jump and roll on the sheeting.
3. Fly a kite
Make your kite together and go fly it!
4. Whip up squirtable chalk
Don’t like the powdery mess of chalk? Fill 3 squirt bottles 2/3 to the top with equal amounts of corn starch and baking soda. Add a few drops of food coloring (red, blue, yellow), stir, and shake. Fill another 3 bottles fill with vinegar and food coloring. Go outside and play! Experiment with combining a chalk bottle with a vinegar bottle to change colors or make fizzy art.
5. Host an outdoor movie night
A white sheet attached to PVC pipes creates a great screen. Then rent or borrow a movie projector and gather some inflatable mattresses or pool floats for seating.
6. Make giant bubbles
Using bubble solution and a plastic kiddie pool you can make huge bubbles. A hula hoop works well but experiment with other items (garbage can lids, etc.).
7. Play lawn games
Have some friendly competition by crafting outdoor games. Try Twister or an oversized version of Kerplunk which can be moved to a pool game using foam noodles and water balloons.
8. Have a water-gun race
String up two plastic cups and see who can move them the fastest and farthest using a squirt gun.
9. Build your own disc-golf course
Lay out a course around the lawn by marking trees, large rocks, chairs, buckets, baskets with chalk.
Players take turns throwing Frisbees at the various targets.
10. Have a read-in
Great for a rainy day or when it is just too hot outside.
11. Bike parade
See who can decorate their bike the best! Remember how great a bike sounds with playing cards or baseball cards added to the spokes?
12. Chalk bombs
Use a clean soap-dispenser pump to fill water balloons with washable chalk-paint mixture (1 cup water, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, few drops of food coloring). Draw targets on the ground and fire away!
13. Make string art
Search “string art” online for some great tips and examples.
Put several plastics toys in a butter tub or other disposable small plastic container. Fill with water and freeze overnight. Before going outside, remove the container from the freezer so you can loosen the ice from the container. Give your child spoons, magnifying glass and cups of water and encourage your child to try different techniques to melt the ice and free the toys.
15. Water bag piñata
Fill a 5-gallon plastics bag with 1-2 gallons of water and tie a knot in the bag. The bag could also be filled with small water toys found at the dollar store.
16. Squirt gun phonics
Draw random letters, numbers, words, or even shapes on your driveway, fence or shed. Ask your child to “shoot” the letters as you call them out. Great educational activity and for developing fine motor skills.
17. Glow in the dark bowling
Gather plastics water bottles, glow sticks and a sturdy ball.
18. Get musical
Create musical instruments from materials found around the house. Empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls make great rhythm instruments, an old comb makes a great harmonica, and straws can be turned into windpipes.
19. Catch a firefly
Go online to learn more about fireflies.
20. Make a cartoon flip book
Channel your inner Disney and staple together pieces of plain paper. Have your child draw a draw a sequence of cartoons and simulate motion as they “flip” through the pages. Note that the first image in the series should be at the bottom of the stack of pages.
21. Neighborhood game night
Have some neighborhood fun with a friendly game of kickball, softball, capture the flag. Keep things fair by designating a different parent to ref and dividing into teams, like dads and daughters versus moms and sons.
22. Toy swap
Invite kids to come over with toys (in good condition) that they no longer want. Then, let them draw numbers to see who gets to pick a “new” toy first.
23. Story time
Barnes & Noble, and most independent book shops, as well as libraries, host story hours for kids. Find schedules by phoning your local library or bookstore.
24. Try squirt gun painting
This one is great for kids and adults alike. Turn it into a race or a game (think Pictionary-style) for added fun!
25. Shop at a farmers’ market
If time allows, take time to chat with the gardeners, farmers, bakers, and other vendors.
26. Create rainbow popsicles
Added bonus for adding multiple colors by freezing each layer before adding a new color (think red, white, and blue pops for the 4th of July).
27. Plan a photo scavenger hunt
For pre-made photo scavenger hunts, search online, as there is a whole host of ideas!
28. Play water balloon baseball It is just like it sounds! Grab some water balloons and fill ‘em up!
29. Create a DIY video
Get those creative juices flowing by brainstorming a fun DIY instructional video with the kids. Make it serious, or silly, it’s up to you. Choose your activity that you will be providing instructions for, create a script, and then….. Lights! Camera! Action!
30. Host a Food Challenge
Invite friends to compete in a food challenge. Divide into teams or make allow individual competitors. Have a host set up each challenge (Baby food, pickles with peanut butter – how crazy do you want to make it?) and then award points for participants who do not spit out their food (or worse!). Remember to take photos! It may be best to host this event outside.