Big announcement today guys – we’ve got ourselves a new MPMK contributor! MJ is an amazing graphic artist who’s going to be creating a bunch of lovely printables for us in the coming months. She’s also an endlessly creative blogger and mom of three just like me! (The mom of three part – I can only strive to her levels of artistry.)
Check out all the good stuff she’s got going on at her blog Pars Caeli, then be sure to come back here for the free printable – you’re going to love it.
I absolutely adore the idea of hanging something on the wall that I can direct my kids to whenever boredom strikes. I also love that MJ included some cute icons next to each item so even my pre-readers can use it.
Get your copy today and then come back all summer long to check out more posts on how to elaborate on each letter.
School lets out in just a handful of days, and I’m already anticipating the inevitable, “Mommy, I’m bored!” This summer we’re fixing that complaint with this creative checklist that I have clipped and posted around my home.
Acronyms are easy ways for my children (and me) to remember activities to keep themselves busy and happy during the free time of summer.
Bye bye boredom. Hello summer fun!
Get your free No More “Mom, I’m Bored!” printable here, then read on for TONS of ideas for each category.
B – Build, craft, or cook something
I want to set my children up for success. Having building and crafting supplies organized and at their level is a huge first step. For ideas on how to get stocked up to build, check out:
The craft cabinet in our family room is a hub for activity stocked with pipe cleaners, pom poms, clay, stencils, stamps, and more. Just a few steps away is our art table that is (mostly) a clear space, ready to handle the next project.
This summer, set up invitations to explore for your children and see what they do. To get started, how about creating one of these two DIY sets:
We also keep blocks, Legos, our favorite homemade playdough, model and craft kits on low shelves or tubs in the playroom so that children can pull them out on their own. Be sure to include cutting mats or pocket folders (as we’ve learned from unwashable messes) to use as a drop cloth underneath sticky building and crafting projects.
For more inspiration on how to organize your art and building supplies, check out:
For bigger kids, whipping up a healthy snack is a great way to practice some valuable life skills while contributing to the family and having a little (or a lot) of fun in the process. Here are some of our favorite kid-friendly recipes:
O – Outside play
In the Midwest, we have a handful of months of glorious weather that must be enjoyed by young and old. Outside play is an important part of our summer experience and a wonderful way to stay healthy and active. We love to get outside as a family and play wiffleball, badmitton, and evening walks.
In addition to bikes, water slides, playsets, and sports equipment, we include our children in the gardening process. Each has a hand in selecting what we grow and caring for the flowers, fruits, vegetables, and herbs as they mature. Harvesting is one of their favorite activities – to see the fruits of their labor.
To see more about maximizing your outdoor space for the kids, see:
R – Read a book
Reading is one of my very favorite summer activities. Grabbing a blanket, laying out in the warm sunshine, and breaking open a great story that can take you anywhere in the world is almost magical.
We dive right into our public library’s summer reading program, filled with incentives and charts, and make weekly trips for new books. We’ve also started a tracking our family reading by marking off on a large thermometer how many pages we read. This goal is all about teamwork as we strive towards our goal of 3000 pages by the end of summer.
Our prize for accomplishing this? A family trip into Chicago to see the great downtown library… and maybe the Navy Pier ferris wheel, too. For lots of great reading recommendations from MPMK’s in-house children’s librarian, see:
E – Earn some money
Whether your children earn money through chores, outside jobs, or not, summer is an opportunity to talk about earning, saving, and spending money. Beginning with your home as the first employer teaches early skills of responsibility, decision-making, and prioritizing.
Tutoring and babysitting are good first jobs as well as simple lawn care or pet sitting. And every child needs the experience of a lemonade stand at some point, right? We’re doing a contribution jar. As each child takes on jobs that need to be completed around the house, they put a stone in our family jar. Once the jar is full from all of our contributions, we enjoy a drive-in movie together or a trip out to putt putt…something we all enjoy.
Whether you want to pay your child for all their chores, or set aside “family jobs” and a few extra “money jobs”, get chore ideas arranged by age here:
D – Do something for someone else
Summer is a wonderful time to focus on what’s really important. Children are naturally passionate givers, and it’s easy to point them in the right directions. Consider asking your children to go through their clothing to give away items they’ve outgrown and toyboxes to find toys that they are ready to donate. Select food together during grocery trips that can be given to the local food pantry.
Thank you notes and simple gestures go a long way. Ask your children to make a message for the mailman and the trashman or leave a handful of special artwork for the local nursing home to enjoy. Visit the elderly or make a meal for a local Ronald McDonald House.
Joining in these activities as an entire family will help your children feel more comfortable and understand how important giving is to your family. Here’s one of our favorite simple activities for giving back that kids of any age can take part in:
We hope this gives you guys all the help you’ll need fighting off the boredom bug this summer! Just in case, here’s one more idea…
Our Camp Mom activities eBook is once again available for sale for a limited time only.
It’s an 84 page PDF from my all-time favorite play bloggers, and myself, stuffed with activities, reading lists, and advice for kicking back and connecting with your kids this summer.
Learn more and get your copy here.
Need help feeding your toddler?
Sign up for our newsletter to get a handy stick-it-your-fridge list of our favorite meals for toddlers and a link to all of the recipes!