It took about two hours and forty-three minutes for my kids to get bored this summer. And as ALL parents know, bored is just another name for "having a cranky rotten attitude insinuating that a parent is not doing all he or she can to provide the thrilling, moment-by-moment adventure children are fully entitled to each and every day between early June and late August."
Yup. Guilty as charged. I am not the magic bubbling family fountainhead of fun and inspiration.
This summer, though, we're trying something different. I'm not gonna lie - it's been amazing so far. It's called "KIDS SCHEDULE THEIR OWN FUN. ALSO CHORES". I found this idea on the blog "Thirty Handmade Days" - she even has a downloadable copy you can edit yourself. Perfection.
I tweaked it a bit for my kids and added a blank schedule to the page. Every evening they have to plan out the next day, making sure to include everything on the list. And then I have to approve it because I am a dictator. As you can see, they were thrilled with this idea. 😂😂😂
To help, the kids and I sat down and made a list of indoor and outdoor activities. That way, they aren't allowed to just schedule time to "play outside"... they have to be specific. Examples: "Ride my bike to the park", "Play with water balloons", or "Make shaving cream paint".
We came up with a bazillion fun ideas TOGETHER. See what I did there? They cannot complain about the activities because THEY CHOSE THEM.
Screen time comes AFTER all the other things have been finished. BOOM BABY.
Here's the craziest thing... they were less than thrilled when I introduced the idea, but now they love it. There have even been a few days that they skipped screens altogether because they ran out of time doing other fun, real-summer-activity-type things. As I type this, my kids are outside doing this (spying on them through the front window... lol):
Here's the list the kids and I came up with in case it's helpful to any other desperate summer parents out there... feel free to download it by clicking here or on the list below:
If an activity has a star by it, that means the link to the instructions for that activity can be found here. Special shout-out to a blog called "The Craft Train" where a decent number of these crafts are featured - it's an amazing resource!
Make hot rocks
Create a tissue paper picture
Create a fuseball game
Make cupcake liner flowers
Make a thumbprint dandelion picture
Make a yarn letter
Create craft stick butterfiles
Make giant dice
Learn to finger knit
Make a finger knit snake
Make clothespin bees
Make a paper towel garland
Make braided yarn dolls
Play with chalk
Parting words: Being stocked up with materials has been KEY. Once we had all the activities listed out, we made a list of the things we'd need and headed straight for Dollar Tree. $44, the kids have what they need for a whole summer of fun activities... water balloons, craft paper, yarn, a bug catcher, pool noodles, marbles, crayons, craft sticks, string, clothespins... and I'm not running back and forth to the store to make it all happen.
Good luck my friends!!!