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25 Fun Ways to Beat Boredom This Summer

Christine Mawhinney Lark

Christine Mawhinney Lark

Contributing Writer

Posted March 30, 2015

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School is out for the summer! It is a time for sun, and fun … and eventually the boredom bug. It seems inevitable that soon it will be but 9 a.m., and there will already be tantrums and cries of boredom. Thankfully, we have the solution: a little advanced planning! Try your hand at these boredom busters to help and kids (and their parents!) survive, and actually enjoy the summer.

  1. Dedicate a few weeks to the alphabet, with each day centered around a letter. For example, on “L” day you could serve Lucky Charms for breakfast, do the limbo, play with laser pegs, ladderball and Legos, take a trip to the library, make a ladybug, have lobster, lasagna, or lettuce for dinner, or watch the Little Mermaid.
  2. For a cool treat, put a bunch of dollar store toys in a big Tupperware container, fill with water, and freeze. Put it in the yard, give the kids some toy hammers, shovels, sticks, etc., and let them ‘dig’ out the toys. Keeps them cool and busy.
  3. When the kids bore of their own toys, play with someone else’s! Head to one of the Main Line’s indoor play spaces to stay cool and discover a whole new space of entertainment.
  4. Discover just how it’s made with an interesting and informative factory tour. Check out this master list to see what’s in production just down the road.
  5. Visit with some furry creatures. Ryerss Farm is a fun place to take the kids to visit aged horses, pet the farm animals at Linvilla Orchards, or hit up Philadelphia Zoo or Elmwood Park Zoo.
  6. Give them a little space — drop them off at one of these fun activity centers and get your errands done in peace.
  7. Head into the city for some culture. The Barnes and Philadelphia Museum of Art both have great family programming that includes hands-on, artistic fun, or check out the new Animal Grossology exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences, or Art of the Brick before it leaves The Franklin Institute.
  8. Ride the rails! Pick a train, any train, and see a bit more of the area as your car hustles down the tracks
  9. Set up a camp in your backyard. Make a craft zone with supplies, a cool place to read, a relay race, and top it off with a flame-grilled dinner of hot dogs and s’mores.
  10. Create a huge box fort. Find a large, old box, cut out windows and doors, and color it to make it look like a house or store. Let the kids decorate to their hearts’ content.
  11. Take a day trip! There are tons of adorable, fun-filled destinations just an hour or two away, meaning you can have a blast and be back to get dinner in the oven.
  12. Make a Twister ‘board’ in the grass. Spray paint six circles of red, yellow, green, and blue in straight lines. Then spin the arrow, and stretch out in the grass. Bonus: no one will knock over a lamp while attempting to turn themselves into a pretzel.
  13. Pick some grub at the farm. Head to a local orchard or farm and fill up baskets of whatever is in season.
  14. Create your own t-shirts. Have the kids create a design on paper, then purchase plain shirts and fabric markers at local craft stores. They can make their own creations to remember the summer of 2015!
  15. Purchase some seed packets, and place some in a cup with top soil. Allow the kids to water them, and watch them grow.
  16. Go for a nature walk. Find leaves, bugs, footprints, and different kinds of trees, then when you get home, research what you found on the walk.
  17. Write a journal. Make the memories last by writing about them. Not only is it fun, but journaling helps kids with their handwriting, creative thinking, spelling, emotional well being, and more!
  18. Have a paper bag puppet theater. Cover a table or box with a sheet, and have the kids make puppets from paper bags. Invite the neighbors over for the premier!
  19. Make your own play clay! Just mix 2 cups of flour, one cup of salt, 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 2 tsp. cream of tartar, few drops of food coloring in a large pan over low heat. Stir until combined and allow to cool. Then get creative!
  20. Take a trip to the local library. Not only can you stock up on new stories, but most local libraries host lots of fun activities from story hour to Lego building to movie showings.
  21. Go to the movies. We particuarlly love the deal that is Regal Cinema Summer Movie Express — family-friendly favorites and tickets that are only $1. Check out their schedule.
  22. Let the kids cook dinner — really! Have them plan out what they would like to serve and make a shopping list, then go shopping for the ingredients. Actually prep may require your supervision and assistance, but maybe they’ll also appreciate how much work goes in to supper every night!
  23. Have a puzzle race. Pick out puzzles at the local dollar store, and then have a race to see who can finish their’s first.
  24. Go fishing — it can be fun and relaxing. Even if you don’t bring home enough for dinner.
  25. Do nothing. Really! Remember: summer break is supposed to be a vacation, and that means relaxing. Sit in the sun, talk, and enjoy one another.

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