After spending months in the classroom, kids are ready for a summer break filled with excitement and adventure. And as a parent, you want each summer to be more memorable than the last, but, in reality, it’s impossible to pack every single day of their vacation with exciting adventures, dips in your neighbourhood pool, or camping trips.
Naturally, there are going to be some days when your family is at home, and you have absolutely nothing planned for the kids. A day of relaxation is always needed, but for children who are constantly on the go, too much R&R may not be part of their ideal summer vacation.
On those quiet summer days when the kids are just about ready to cry, “I’m bored!” be prepared with quick, inexpensive, and fun activities that’ll keep them entertained for hours:
1. Toothpick and marshmallow structures
Creating toothpick sculptures is an activity that you definitely want to add to your arsenal of rainy day activities. Your kids will love using marshmallows, modeling clay, or however they choose to build with toothpicks, and you’ll enjoy watching them express their creativity while improving their problem solving and fine motor skills. While children can build freeform structures, construction challenges are far more exciting. Assign your kids the role of architects and provide them with a design project that’ll put their building skills to the test.
2. DIY Science lab
A science lab is a great inquiry-based science activity that that can keep kids of all ages busy and learning. On a large table, lay out a few eyedroppers, an assortment of differently shaped containers filled with coloured water, and any other materials necessary for your science experiments. Then step back and watch your kids make “groundbreaking” scientific discoveries.
3. Kid-friendly mud run
Getting kids to unplug from technology can be a challenge. Help your children reconnect with nature and stay active throughout the summer by setting up a mud run obstacle course in your backyard. All you need is a few household and outdoor items (such as large cardboard boxes, baker’s twine, hula-hoops, a lawn sprinkler, and milk crates) that can be intricately arranged throughout your yard to create the ultimate mud run course.
4. Play dough
Play dough is a timeless boredom buster because it lets kids’ imaginations run wild. I’ve seen preschoolers to 11-year-olds transform their lumps of dough into unique creations that spark inventive dramatic play scenarios like pretend bakeries and cooking competitions. With play dough, the possibilities for play are endless.
Searching for more ways to beat the boredom bug this summer? Try YMCA Summer Clubs! Located in neighbourhood community schools throughout the GTA, this program facilitated by Early Childhood Educators offers kids a variety of interactive indoor and outdoor activities where they’ll stay active, learn new skills, and have fun. Register for a program today!