By contributing writer Josh Kissee of Manbuilders.com.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. -Dorothy Parker
Are you dreading your boys asking to play video games, watch TV, or sit at the computer when they get bored this summer?
I am. They do it now and it’s not even summer yet!
Solution: Have a list at the ready of boredom busters that do not need you to shell out a ton of cash, feel the guilt of putting your boys on screen-time autopilot, and continue to build the curiosity bound up in their heart!
Prime the Curiosity Pump
Spend 15 minutes with your son(s) and talk to them about curiosity and get them excited and renewed in their interest of things outside of games! If you are unsure where to start, consider using the steps below to guide your discussion.
1. Ask your son(s) if he knows what curiosity means.
2. Give him a few different definitions of curiosity. Consider reading “Sam I Am” by Dr. Seuss.
3. Discuss how “distractions” keep our curiosity from being fulfilled through exploring the world.
4. Explain to your son(s) that you will be posting a lot of new and exciting things to help him become curious about the world this summer.
101 Summer Boredom Busters List
- Plant a small flower garden from seeds. Be sure to water everyday!
- Make two different paper airplane models. Have a flying contest to see which plane model/whose plane can fly the farthest, straightest, or most unusual. If you have an Apple iPad or iPhone, checkout this FREE App on how-to make paper airplane models.
- Make a paper mache’ solar system and hang the project from your bedroom ceiling when finished. Spend an evening under the stars with your son and try to find some of the planets.
- Make a costume and act out the parts. Ideas could include a pirate, soldier, construction worker, scientist, or doctor.
- Create an emergency plan in case of fire and do a real drill.
- Play with Play Dough (Outside). Older boys can have a play dough war!
- Sing Songs.
- Exercise. Checkout the Subway fitness program for exercise ideas.
- Watch educational shows (e.g., animal planet, discovery)
- Write a letter to a family member.
- Mystery topic (cut up 20 pieces of paper with a topic, put in a bowl, and then have your son research it and talk about it. Monitor his internet usage!)
- Draw Pictures and Practice Art Techniques. Google or youtube search for Bob Ross (former PBS guy who drew amazing mountains and other scenic pictures).
- Create a Diarama
- Search for bugs in the yard and collect into a jar.
- Visit the library and get books to read together.
- Visit a museum.
- Go for a walk or search and destroy mission outside.
- Conduct a science experiment. Lots of ideas at Steve Spangler Science.
- Build with legos or blocks.
- Cook a new recipe for a sweet treat.
- Go fishing.
- Go swimming.
- Play a board game.
- Play tent in the living room.
- Take a bubble bath and relax.
- Make a bird feeder. Free DIY plans at Ana White’s website.
- Have a picnic.
- Play at the park.
- Go on a nature walk in a wooded park or by a lake. Skip some stones or throw rocks and have a contest while you are there.
- Have a water balloon fight.
- Build a volcano.
- Play hide and seek.
- Play basketball.
- Play baseball.
- Play soccer.
- Do a scavenger hunt.
- Shoot the BB gun.
- Call a family member and tell them you love them.
- Play cards.
- Go to the movies.
- Take pictures and act like a photographer.
- Fly a kite.
- Go to a pizza restaurant, like Chuck E Cheese. Get some coupons first!
- Dress up in a costume and act out your favorite movie.
- Do some woodwork.
- Work with tools.
- Learn how to change a tire or do maintenance on the lawn mower.
- Learn about parts of a car and especially the engine. Learn how to check the fluids.
- Play sword fight.
- Go on a mystery drive, where you the boys say which streets to turn on.
- Have a talent show.
- Build a time capsule and bury in the back yard.
- Have a video game competition.
- Have a Limbo contest
- Look at the stars at night and make wishes about the future.
- Draw with sidewalk chalk outside.
- Look for shapes in the clouds and tell stories.
- Use the grill to make smores.
- Play twister.
- Play charades.
- Watch the sunset together.
- Plan out a dinner menu that is crazy!
- Trace your hand onto paper and color
- Look at family pictures and talk about the memories.
- Make bubbles.
- Silly string fight.
- Jump rope contest.
- Have a lesson the guitar or piano.
- Think about how to redecorate your room.
- Learn about a specific animal.
- Play frisbee.
- Throw a party and invite some friends over.
- Go bowling.
- Play 20 questions.
- Have an Olympic festival where you compete in a variety of sports.
- Play iSpy.
- Have a hotwheel race.
- Play penny poker.
- Learn 100 signs in American Sign Language.
- Fix something that is broke.
- Sleep outside in a tent.
- Write down bad habits onto paper, build a fire, and throw it into the fire with a desire to change the bad habit.
- Go bicycle riding.
- Make holiday crafts in anticipation of the holidays.
- Go play laser tag.
- Play hot potato.
- Play name that tune.
- Play finish that story. Each person makes up a sentence and the next person has to keep the story going with another sentence. Do this for 10 rounds among all the players.
- Play with face paint and dress up like warriors.
- Play with hulk hands and have a boxing match.
- Make a pinata.
- Make a cardboard robot.
- Have a watergun fight.
- Watch a baseball game.
- Play Dominoes.
- Build a dirt castle.
- Go to the zoo.
- Do crazy Karoke.
- Build a cardboard castle.
101.Organize a magic show.
Print the 101 Summer Boredom Busters List and place it on a wall that your son(s) pass by often in your home. Challenge your son(s) and yourself to do one third to half of them this summer!
Keep the list going. Add more summer ideas in the comments below or share links to help some of the ideas come alive!
Brilliant! Although I never underestimate the powerful combination of a boy + shovel + cars/dumptrucks etc. + sandbox = hours of fun!
YAY! Thank you so much for more summer activity ideas.