After the excitement of the first few days of summer passes, you and your children both begin to realize there are many days to fill. It will not take long to hear, “Mom, I’m bored!”

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There are many options available this summer. With a bit of creativity, not only you, but also your children, can have days filled with fun and excitement.

Prepare

Set up a summer “schedule.” This can be somewhat flexible, but having a time for chores, meals, and even a naptime for younger children, can help your summer days run smoothly. Additionally, don’t forget bedtime. Obviously, it can be later since school is out. However, a consistent time for going to bed and getting up can prevent tired, grouchy kids.

Turn Your Backyard into a “Park”

Look for areas in our yard to make kid-friendly. Hang a swing or rope form a mature tree branch. Install a zip wire if you have the space and suitable big trees. You can find one on-line suitable for adolescents.

Consider some of the old standby garden games such as badminton, horseshoes, or croquet. A flat lawn area serves as a perfect spot for these games.

Buy a trampoline. It provides unlimited fun. Don’t forget a safety net; you will worry less about injuries.

At lunchtime, have a backyard picnic. Or, in the evening, build a bonfire, cook hot dogs on sticks, and roast marshmallows.

Water Play

Children will play for hours running through a sprinkler. Also, consider a small inflatable pool for younger children. Aboveground, swimming pools are surprisingly affordable and will keep your whole family entertained this year and for many summers to come. Alternatively, make use of a community pool if your area has one available. Many offer swimming lessons at a moderate price.

Visit the Local Library or Museum

Many libraries have summer programs for kids. Even if your kids cringe at the idea initially, sign them up. Most have story telling for the little ones and special projects for your older children. After the first time, they will be eager to return.

Museums also offer summer programs. Some actually have day camps. Register early as they fill up fast. Check on-line for places near you. Many small specialty museums are tucked away in relatively unknown areas. We discovered a doll museum not far from our home, which my daughters wanted to visit repeatedly.

Consider Camp

Day camps are offered by many community organizations. There are camps suitable for even the hardest-to-please child. If this option is not for you due to the expense or the age of your children, consider having a rotating day camp with other parents in your neighborhood. Choose one day a week, and have all the children gather at a different home for a day filled with fun activities. This also gives you, the parent, an occasional break!

Rainy Day Activities

Inclement weather is bound to strike sometime this summer. Pull out board games or puzzles. These are also good days for coloring and simple craft projects.

Many towns have a movie theatre that offer a special program of early day, kid-friendly movies during the summer, a perfect activity for a rainy day. If such a program is not available in your area, consider having your own “movie day.” Show a new release or an old favorite with popcorn. You can even offer a double feature with a special lunch between shows.

Keeping our kids busy and happy during the summer is a challenge. However, following these suggestions can keep you from frustration and your children from being bored.

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