Kids just want to have fun

With summertime right around the corner, it means a lot of things for parents including tons of free time and kids using the line “I’m bored!” multiple times a day. Yes you can cure it with going to the pool or playing outside in the yard but that will only go so far into to summer before they get bored again. This is why I have decided to spend some time talking about what we as parents can do to counteract the boredom before it begins. In doing my research about what we can do to stop the summertime blues, I have found a verity of projects and games but not all are suitable for every age group so just keep in mind how old your child(ren) are whenever you are doing these projects, for their safety of course. If you feel like your child can handle a bigger project, then try it and see how it goes. I’m going to go through a few projects for all ages on how to beat the boredom and the heat.

Fun for the whole family

So here are some projects that I feel like every member of the family can enjoy and take part in, and as always feel free to put your own twist on things I have just put it down to the basics and leave it up to you on how you want to proceed. And I will say that for some of these I think it would be more fun to do in teams but again, however you feel.

  1. “Bored Jar”- We all know those famous words coming out of your family’s mouth. So if you are anything like me and don’t want to ever have to hear your kids whine and moan about how bored they are, here is your simple solution! Now if you want to get fancy with it you are more than welcome to, but I would go to the local Dollar Tree or Dollar General and pick up a mason jar and deck it out with “Bored Jar”. Something else i have seen is the same concept but instead of paper its colored Popsicle sticks in a fancy jar.  Then have each member of your family write down (help the little ones) a few different activities that sound like something fun to do around the house. Examples:
    • Read a book
    • Write in your holiday book
    • Tidy your bedroom
    • Do one job
    • Draw something
    • Draw an animal
    • Draw our house
    • Paint something
    • Watch a movie
    • Make a gift for someone
    • Tidy your desk
    • Make homemade bubbles
    • Have a bubble bath
    • Make cupcakes
    • Play on Moshi Monsters
    • Go on Youtube and search funny things
    • Make homemade Bubbles
    • Make Gloop
    • Make a treasure hunt
    • Make something with a box
    • Story starting – There is a monster in my garden….
    • Story starting – Yesterday I went in a spaceship to….
    • Story starting  – There once was a little girl who liked to skip….
    • Write a story about you.
    • Go to the park
    • Go to the beach
    • Find shapes in clouds
    • Create a family flag
    • Make a musical instrument
    • Do the recycling
    • Build a time capsule
    • Find something in your house that starts with every letter of the alphabet
    • Have a picnic – indoor or outdoor. Teddies allowed.
    • Have a scooter race.
    • Play with a toy you haven’t played with in a while.
    • Learn ten words in a different language
    • Play on the trampoline
    • Make homemade play dough
    • Make and decorate paper airplanes
    • Let Dad choose something to do
    • Let Mam choose something to do
    • Walk the dog
    • Make an animal out of the things in the craft cupboard
    • Make something with a box
    • Make a den
    • Play guitar
    • Tidy under your bed
    • Look through the cook books and choose something you can cook us all for tea
    • Build something out of Lego.
    • Make a list of black and white animals.
    • Write three things about every
    • Paint your nails
    • Make a sock puppet
    • Have a bubble bath
    • Play a board game
    • Make a board game of your own
    • Customise your clothes
    • Make something with your buttons
    • Play on the Xbox
    • Play on the wii
    • Draw a picture blindfolded
    • Draw a picture with your feet
    • Make a video
    • Write a poem
    • Google something to make
    • Make a card pyramid
    • Go and collect some stones and make them into bugs
    • Dance to loud music
    • Play on the trampoline
    • Start a club with your friends
    • Tidy craft cupboard
    • Sew something
    • Bake cookies
    • Play out with friends
    • Ride your bike
    • Water balloon fight
    • Wash the car
    • Play with the chalks outside
    • Make a bookmark
    • Make some homemade ice pops
    • Research a time period (Roman, Egyptian, Nordic, Indian, ect) and write down 10 interesting things about it

    This is an easy way to get rid of the summertime boredom blues. and super easy and cheap too!!!

  2. Water gun painting- Not only is this a super easy project but you can also have it set up and ready to go whenever you want to do it.Materials:
    Tempra paint
    Water Guns (Target dollar bin – $1 for 3 or 6 pack at Dollar tree)
    Water
    Canvas (Art supplies stores normally have some good deals on them. Hobby lobby is my favorite)
    Painters Tape (optional)
    drop cloth or old sheetDirections:
    Mix the tempra paint with a little water (a 50/50 mixture).
    Use a measuring cup with a pour spout, or use a tiny funnel, and slowly pour in the paint/water mixture.
    Use the painters tape to make the desired design.
    Go outside and go to town!
    Lay the canvas horizontally and wait for the paint to dry before taking the tape off.
  3. Pool noodle sprinkler- So this is one that everyone in the family can use and play with everyday. It is super easy to put together and can play with for a long time. Puncture the pool noodle randomly around all sides of the noodle. (The more holes, the better.) Leave a few inches from the end of the noodle that you will put the hose in. Stuff the other end, (not the side you will be putting in the hose in), with a plastic cap, then duct tape the end securely. Decide where you would like to use the sprinkler. (Ex: swingset, tree branch, ground, on fence, porch, anywhere really.) Position your hose and then slide the end of the hose into the foam noodle, pushing it in a few inches so it holds securely. Turn on the hose and let the fun begin!!!!
  4. Scavenger hunt (indoors or out)- This is an activity that the whole family can have fun doing and/or making. There are plenty of different ways that you can do scavenger hunts for both indoor and outdoor fun. You can do it by color(having to find things of the same color as the sheet), or letter (everything on the list has to start with the letter on the sheet), or specific things… You can pretty much do anything you want to when it comes to scavenger hunts, and to make it SOOOO much easier for you when it comes time that your kids are bored and want something to do, have some hunts already made up ahead of time so all you’ll have to do is grab one and let your kiddos go at it. One of the easiest and most fun things you can do this summer that can be done time and time again.
  5. Water balloon baseball- with this one I have seen many different variations on how to play but the easiest way i found was on  http://www.sophie-world.com/games/how-play-water-balloon-baseball. You will need: Four hula-hoops or other markers for bases, Buckets of pre-made water balloons, Wiffle ball bat (the fat kind or the regular kind), Paper and pen for scorekeeping.
    Setup:

    1. You will need an ample supply of water balloons for this game. You can fill them ahead of time and store them in a cool place for up to about a week without losing too many to breakage. We store them in 5 gallon buckets, usually about 50 balloons per bucket.
    2. Set up your field like a regular baseball field, using hula hoops for the bases. If you opt to use something else for your bases, just make sure to use something that won’t get wet and slippery for home plate.
    3. Line your group/team up. Keep your teams small (no more than 7 to 10 per team). Only one “team” should play at a time.
    4. Place a bucket of water balloons on the pitcher’s mound. Designate an adult pitcher.

    How to Play:

    The object of the game is to hit all the water balloons pitched. Each balloon that pops is worth a base. Players advance around the bases according to the number of balloons they burst.
    1. Line up your players in order.
    2. Players get three water balloons apiece. The pitcher should toss them underhand to each player in turn. The player scores one base for each balloon that they hit with the bat. If a player bursts all three balloons in a row, they get a home run.
    3. Should a player slightly hit a balloon, but not burst it, that is considered a “foul tip” and they get another balloon. However, once a foul tip has happened, the player is no longer eligible to bat a home run. He or she can get a triple (three bases), but to get a home run the player must solidly hit their three water balloons one after the other.
    4. Play continues with each team member taking their turn and advancing through the bases as in normal baseball.
    5. Have a scorekeeper keep a tally of the runs earned.
    6. Play until you run out of water balloons, or for a designated number of “innings.”
    Additional Rules
    1. If a wild or bad pitch is thrown (this should be determined by the adults, not the players)
    a new balloon will be thrown. This does not count as a “foul tip,” so the player is still eligible for a home run.

    Variations:

    If you have more than one team, you can play one of two ways:
    Version #1: have the first team rotate through their entire team twice, and keep track of their score – then release them to some other activity while the next team bats. Compare scores.
    Version #2: flip-flop teams as in normal baseball. One team bats all the way through, then send them off to do another activity while the second team bats. Keep playing for as many “innings” as you like.

    Tips:

    1. Make sure you have lots of water balloons.
    2. Make sure the water balloons are filled to a good size. Underfilled water balloons tend not to pop.
    3. Make sure to protect water balloons from little hands or you’ll end up with a water balloon fight faster than you can say “splash zone!”
    4. Make sure players stand back from batters so no one gets hit. Players tend to creep up in an effort to get wet!
    5. Make sure you have a designated umpire to determine “foul tips,” “wild pitches,” and bases.
    6. Strikes are strikes; if you miss, you are down that balloon, unless it’s determined it’s a “wild” pitch.
    7. With younger or more inexperienced players, you may want to loosen up on the “three balloons only” rule. It’s nice for everyone to get at least one base.

  6. Hula hoop canopy- These are super easy to make and as long as you have some old sheets laying around your house you will only have to spend a few bucks at the dollar store for your hula hoops and some type of rope or cord to hang it up with. So basically all you do is gather what you will need for the project (Hula Hoop, Sheet (use a king size so that you have plenty of fabric), Twine (or any type of rope/cord), Book Rings, Duct Tape, Scissors and Scotch Tape. After your supplies are together layout the sheet and lay 2-3 inches over the hula hoop and secure with Duck Tape. You could also use a needle and thread if you like and sew it on. Then work your way around the hoop. We used the long side of the sheet so that there was plenty of extra fabric to gather, and Using a small, sharp pair of scissors, poke a hole through the Duck Tape and sheet, creating a spot to thread the twine. Cut a piece of twine about 52 inches long and feed it through the ring, attaching it through the hole you made with the scissors. You may need to wrap the end of the twine with scotch tape so it doesn’t unravel. Tie securely around the hoop on both ends. Now use another long piece of twine to hang the Hula Hoop Tent to the tree or the ceiling if you are hanging it indoors. Last but not least Add a blanket to cover the ground, a pillow and some good books and you have a fun little area to hide away and read for you and/or the kids!
  7. Chalk paint-   1/3 – cup great value cornstarch
    1/3 – cup water
    1 – 2 tablespoons washable paint or
    several drops of food coloring or icing paste
    6 – 8 plastic containers with lids
    various brushes and rollersIn each plastic cup add 1/3 cup cornstarch to 1/3 cup water or whatever equal parts you prefer. Mix to combine.
    Add 1 -2 tablespoons of paint or several drops of food coloring into each cup and stir until your desired color is reached.
    Note: The cornstarch will settle a bit as the paint sits, so give the paints a good stir and have fun.
  8. Backyard Tic-Tac-Toe- There are plenty of different ways to do this one and it all depends on your budget which one you would like to do. The way I like to do it, is go and get a sheet or a shower curtain from dollar store or sometimes you can find them at wal-mart for fairly cheap. Next you will need to make 9 squares with duct tape or paint (in order to look like a tic-tac-toe board). Now all you need is 6 pieces in 2 separate colors (I used Frisbee’s because I can normally find them at dollar tree or dollar general and all you need is 3 of each color). Last thing to do is lay it out and start your tic-tac-toe battles!
  9. “Bulls-eye” sponge game- This one you don’t really need to buy anything because almost every parent has chalk and a few extra sponges( if you don’t have sponges you can buy a 6 pack at the dollar tree for $1). All you have to do after you get your supplies together is draw a bulls-eye on the pavement and a “stand behind” line then let the kiddos go crazy! It’s super fun and so easy to set up.
  10. Hula hoop bubbles- I almost feel like this is pretty self explanatory but I’ll go ahead and lay it out for everyone. All you need for this one is Hula hoop, kiddie pool, and your bubble solution. To make the bubble solution you will need: 5 Gallons of Water
    & 10 Cups of Dawn dish soap (regular not antibacterial) A few helpful tips – Let this solution sit overnight. For some reason this helps.
    – The less foam you make, the better your bubbles will be. Too much foam is the enemy to giant bubbles. Try to keep the splashing to a minimal as it will make the bubbles less effective.  The only thing left to do is put your hula hoop in the solution that you have in the kiddie pool, have someone step in the middle and pull the hoop up around them. It’s a lot of fun for both children and adults!
  11. “Busy Bags”- So with this one I’m going to let you all look at the site I found this idea on because there are so many different ideas and things you can do with this I’ll let you all make your own ideas with this.     http://www.teachingmama.org/busy-bags-101/
  12. DIY Art boxes- With these you will need to determine what your children will get the most use out of the stuff in the box. Now when I thought about making these for the local foster kids fundraiser at christmas time, I went to the Dollar Store and got a plastic shoe box container and then walked down the art isle and added crayons, stickers, markers, coloring books, puzzles, and little games to amuse them. Its super easy and can be used and decorated as you or your kids desire.
  13. Bubble snakes- This one you will need bottle, sock or washrag, rubber band, and bubble solution. What you will need to do is cut off the bottom portion of the bottle and then place it on your washrag or put the sock around the bottle and use the rubber band to tightly secure the rag or sock around the bottom of the bottle, making sure there is no sagging. Now you need your bubbles, and to be very honest I just used the store bought bubbles but you are more then welcome to make your own if you’d prefer. Only thing left to do is dip your blower in the bubbles and use the cap part to blow the bubbles. And Voila!!! Bubble snakes!!!
  14. Balloon paint art- I really like this one because you can use it as gifts or for art in your house. This is something I think is something that every grandma will love because it’s something that the kids made for them and grandma’s LOVE that stuff, or at least mine did and I know my mom will love to get one. This one is definitely will cost you a little more but it is totally worth it! So lets get a supply list together; you will need:  Small balloons &balloon pump(I got both in a kit at the dollar store and Wal-Mart has them as well), Washable Paint, Plastic Darts with metal tips (Amazon has them for $8.49 for 3 Dozen and I also think you can get them at Wal-Mart in the recreational area) , Thumbtacks(Dollar Tree), Canvas (Hobby Lobby has them best prices and verity) or white foam board with white butcher paper taped over it (I think that Wal-Mart has them for $2 or so), Large drop cloth to cover the mess (Old sheet works perfect). So the first thing you’ll want to do is put the mouth of the balloon over your paint container and squirt a small amount of paint. Then take your pump and fill your balloons and twist off to tie. Make sure you are doing this with a large cloth to cover the floor in case a balloon pops! I highly recommend doing this outdoors near a water hose just in case. Next you will want to be in an area outdoor where you can place your drop cloth on the ground, tape your canvas (or in our case a white foam board with white butcher paper taped over it) somewhere that is low enough for kids to throw darts at. So now you will want to attach the balloons with thumbtacks on your canvas in any position to have the paint on your board. Obviously you want to attach the twisted off ends as to not pop the balloons. The only thing left to do now is use your darts and have the kids throw the darts to pop the balloons and make beautiful art! Also its up to you if you want your kids to make a signature on it at the bottom or even stick their hands in the paint at the end and leave a spot open on canvas(I like to designate ahead of time) for their hand prints.
  15. Bubble blower painting- This one is another that you can use for gifts or artwork around your house. This time you will need large painting paper(Wal-Mart or a hobby store will have this), a bubble mixture(I get mine at the Dollar Tree in a 3 pack), bubble wands(normally comes with the bubbles), food coloring, and cups or trays to dip with(I found cups work the best). Making it is easy! All you will need to do is pour a little bubble mixture into each tray or cup – one for each color, and then add a little food coloring to each tray and stir gently – you don’t want to make too many bubbles in your cup because bubbles don’t work so well when the mixture is all bubbly. Then it’s time to blow bubbles! The kids will have a blast and it’s something fun and different to do for a change. In this one I highly recommend after you acquire the paper the Dollar Tree has a verity of sizes of picture frames so you can make the artwork even more special! It’ll be a hit for grandma’s, great-grandma’s, and any family member that loves to get special gifts from the kiddos!
  16. Butterfly garden- I can honestly say that the only time I have ever done this was when I was about 10 in school. Now in saying that I have thought of a way to make it more of a family activity rather then a school project. You can use a mason jar if you would like but in my opinion I think it would be more fun for the whole family to use a small fish tank(yard sales often have them or you may be able to find a small one for pretty cheap at a local store, I do not recommend going to a pet store because you will pay way to much unless you plan on using it for other things). So in order to do this you will need to find caterpillar(s), which you can find around the yard or at a park. If you would like to add a little more educational value to the project, you can have your kids look up the different types of caterpillars and research the butterflies they turn into. Now all you need to do is put leaves and sticks in the bottom for them to eat on and make sure that there is airflow on the top but it still needs a lid so they won’t escape. The only thing left to do is feed the caterpillar(s) fresh leaves every day and clean the cage daily as well. I find this website very helpful in care and keep of your caterpillars and even if you want to keep them once they become butterflies.
  17. Zoo Bingo- I think this one is pretty self explanatory, Bingo is always a fun activity for the whole family and it will also give your kids something that can make a fun day trip into something more exciting! There are so many different ways that you can do it so I just recommend going to google and typing in zoo bingo for kids and looking at the images. You can either print it out from there or get some ideas and make your own… that’s 100% up to you.

There is plenty more crafts, projects, and games that you could have a different one each day, but if I kept going it would probably take days to read. If you like these I can do more project posts like this but only if you want more like this! I hope your family will enjoy these little summertime boredom tricks that will leave your family in amazement on how crafty you are!!! And as always just remember, Just because you’re broke doesn’t mean you can’t live good! 🙂

Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.
-Allen Klein

 

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