By Jaimi Erickson
This summer, I want to keep a balance of structured days and open days for my kids. The window of having a carefree childhood is so small. I want my children to experience life without a constant schedule. However, I also want us to spend some quality time together as a family.
Easy-to-set-up crafts, learning activities disguised as fun, and free or cheap family activities are my go-to. These are all activities we can do to put some structure in a few days this summer. But, they will not make us feel over-scheduled or cost a lot.
These activities are very inexpensive. Most do not require a hefty trip to your craft store. Using what you have at home, these boredom busters will help fill the gaps in your summer vacation days. The best part is, they will not break the budget. Some only require one supply, like foil, maps or bubbles!
Boredom Busters for All Ages
Children in this age group are naturally curious. They learn so much when presented with great opportunities. These summer boredom busters for preschool kids are simple to set up. They each teach an important concept — from tossing a snowball to sorting buttons — but you do not need a lot of fancy supplies.
When a child feels like they are playing a game rather than sitting and learning, you can always keep their attention longer. All of the activities on the list are created with that goal in mind.
During this stage, children need to be able to learn in a hands-on way. Pick a few ideas from this list of toddler games, such as digging through cotton balls or matching colors. Create them during nap time or bedtime to prep them ahead. When you need to engage your toddler in a structured activity for a bit, you can pull one activity out.
A tip for this age group: Present only one activity at a time. When that one is done, your child may want to repeat it. Toddlers are known for wanting to do things over and over again. Let them focus on the activity as long as they want. This is really great for developing their attention span.
Big kids enjoy special activities just for them. There are great extension activities here that help enhance the learning your child did in school — inspiring them with things like science or sewing projects.
We do not do structured school work every day through the summer. Fun learning games are great for preventing summer slide. Simple games to play are great to try, too.
When you have quiet moments at home with your baby, simple activities are a great way to break up the day. Each of these baby play ideas support infant development and learning that can improve motor skills and more. They were fun to do with my babies. We repeated the same little activities often. There is less to prep that way.
Free and Cheap Military Family Options
I have an ongoing series of free and cheap family activities in different locations around the country. You can even submit your local faves as well.
The budget-friendly family activities are listed by location. Most are near military bases. You’ll definitely want to add your family’s favorites in the submission form, too. I love adding new events for families to try.
Rainy or Indoor Days
This comprehensive list of rainy-day activities for kids is great when the weather does not allow for playtime outside. There are activities that are easy to set up and websites that are kid-friendly for responsible screen time. Keep the boredom away.
Keeping Boredom Away with Kids
Host a playdate with neighbors or friends with these easy steps. Incorporate a simple craft for the kids to try. With this list of ideas, summer boredom will not be a problem. You have so many activity resources to try.
How do you do summer vacation? Do you make bucket list or take it one day at a time?