Battle End-of-Summer Boredom

By Sarah Lyons

After the end of the school year excitement fades and the thrill of a trip to the pool wears off, I begin to notice the first signs of summer boredom settling in. The kids start to bicker, they seem to be drawn more to electronics and less to fun outings, and getting them to pitch in around the house is a chore in itself.

After checking the calendar and noting that the first day of school is still weeks away, something has to be done to battle the boredom. Here are some ideas:

Change the scenery

When the kids seem antsy and bored, try a change of scenery for a quick mood adjustment. Go for a walk, play in the backyard, hop into the car and do some errands, or even play in an area of the house that you don’t commonly use for play. We all get stir crazy if we stay in the same place too long.

Take a day trip

Speaking of changing the scenery, consider taking a day trip to break up the long summer days. Explore local attractions or travel a few hours to visit a nearby city. A trip to the zoo, amusement park, museum or water park can give you and the kids something to look forward to and break up the boredom. If a bigger day trip isn’t in the budget, pack a lunch and spend the day at a neighboring town’s park. Or Google to see what free activities are in your area. There are often seasonal activities you may not be aware of.

Give in to electronics

It won’t hurt to give in to the desire to play on tablets and watch TV once in a while. Plan a movie marathon or let the kids have extra screen time. Take a trip to the library for new books and then exchange reading minutes for extra screen time. The kids will be happy with their bonus game time and they will sharpen their reading skills before school starts.

Pick a project

If your house is anything like mine, there are always unfinished projects to work on. Clean the closets, sort the toys or work in the yard. Teach your kids how to bake a cake or encourage them to plan a menu and cook dinner. You may need to assist young children. Give them chores they have never tried before so they have the benefit of learning something new and you gain the bonus of a cleaner house.

Put a crab in water

An old friend once told me, “Put a crab in water,” which is a solution for any age. A bath or shower can lighten anyone’s mood, whether you are dealing with a fussy baby or an exhausted mom. Water play can also turn things around. Head to the pool, set up the sprinkler in the backyard, fill some water balloons or visit the beach. A day playing in water can transform your kids from grumpy to happy in no time.

Host a playdate

Invite some friends over for the day. Someone new to play with and talk to give siblings a much-needed break from playing (and fighting) with each other or only children a welcome playmate. As a stay-at-home mom, I love to invite other moms and their kids over. The moms enjoy adult conversation while kids enjoy play time, and everyone is glad for a break from the typical day.

The end of summer may feel far off now but before we know it, the kids will be back in school, the schedule will be full of activities, and we will be craving a day off. In the meantime, make the best of the long, lazy days and battle summer boredom one day at a time.

Sarah Lyons is a writer and stay-at-home mom of six children, including triplets.

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