At-Home Mid Summer Boredom Busters
It’s mid-summer. Has the boredom set in yet? Are your kids complaining they have “nothing to do?”
Yes, I hear all the moms who profess that boredom is good. “Kids creativity comes out when they’re bored. Don’t entertain them. Don’t let them stare at a screen…Blah, blah, blah. “
I’m over it.
Kids don’t need to be bored ALL day! Here’s my theory on this: You know the saying, “there are no new ideas.”? I think that if you give kids some fun learning opportunities, they’ll carry those ideas through to their independent playtime and spark new ideas to stretch their mind.
Yep, sometimes it’s HARD to come up with things to do! There are subscription boxes, but those are too infrequent for a whole summer. There are library days, yes, but sometimes you just want to have a pajama day and not go anywhere, am I right? I’m here to give you some great resources to take the pressure off planning fun learning time with your mini-me — and you can finish the summer strong!
My first fave are these FREE online camps!
I am particularly excited about Camp Google starting July 13th. This 4-week online course geared to kids aged 7 – 10 includes science activities for Ocean week, Space week, Nature week, and Music week. The science activities and adventures are led by experts from National Geographic Kids, NASA, national parks and Khan Academy. Kids can earn badges as they complete each week and no, they don’t need a Google account to participate. And did I mention it’s FREE? You can learn more about Camp Google here.
Here’s another FREE online camp your kids may enjoy.
It’s called Maker Camp and features a new project every day. You’ll receive an overview about the project in our daily video playlist with links to work on projects at home. This coordinated camp sponsored by Intel and ATT actually has IRL meet-ups where kids can meet other makers and share their projects. Funky Town camp is going on right now through July 17th, followed by weeks of Farmstead, Fun & Games, Flight and Far Out Future. There are 1,000 physical campsites all over the world you can participate in as well!
While it’s not free, the next one may be popular with the 9 year olds and up.
The Learning to Code camp is a digital learning camp focused on Minecraft.
Minecraft is a design-friendly online gaming environment that can teach kids problem solving, programming, and getting along with others. Learning to Code camp is a four-week camp (sorry, already started but you might be able to still get in or mark it for next summer) designed to foster creating, collaborating. Campers login from home, build and share their in-game creations through weekly challenges. The camp also includes live streams, online discussion with campers and counselors, and collaborative design jam events where participants create community-defined projects. I haven’t tried to register for this as it’s a little older than the Princess Cupcake, but I’ve got it on my radar for the future. Cost is $150. More information can be found here.
The internet is great, but offline play is here to stay! Check out this book I really love: The Giant Book of Creativity for Kids: 500 Activities to Encourage Creativity in Kids Ages 2 to 12–Play, Pretend, Draw, Dance, Sing, Write, Build, Tinker by Bobbi Conner.
It’s an encyclopedia of creativity for kids ages 2 – 12. It’s chalk full of 500 activities that will get kids using their imagination, drawing, singing, dancing, writing, building and tinkering! It’s author also wrote, “Unplugged Play” – another book I’ll be looking for this summer. I love that the activities are arranged by age, list out the materials needed, gives instructions AND tips to help parents to encourage their kids to be creative. The front has an index of creative activities centered around family routines like driving to school and kitchen time while parents are preparing dinner. It’s great that the activities have several variations suggested so if your child really likes a particular activity, you can guide them in a number of ways to do it and keep them interested longer. There are 348 pages of activities you can dive into – and at the back of the book, there’s also a resource section and a well-organized index so you can look up favorite activities quickly. (Click the image for pricing and to order from Amazon.com)
Here’s another book I love – although MUCH smaller than the Creativity book. It’s called, Chemistry Experiments for Girls Cool Chemistry Activities for Girls (Girls Science Club) by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen, PhD. It’s a short book, but it’s big on fun.
It has 10 chemistry experiments that you can easily do at home with your girl – but really girls and boys would enjoy. Each simple experiment has a supply list, step-by-step photo instructions, and a short “lesson” about what’s happening. I got mine at The Perot Museum, but you can order it from Amazon by clicking the image.
It may not be a favorite with the kids, but in our house the learning doesn’t stop during the summer. We found some great workbooks designed for kids transitioning from one grade to another. Before screen time each day, we work our brain a bit with practice lessons appropriate for the next school year. Here are a couple of the books we are using – they came from COSTCO of all places! You can also find them and similar versions for different grade levels by clicking the images below.
I believe creativity comes from experiences, and I love having the opportunity to have a hands-on impact on the Cupcake’s development. And you know what else? It’s FUN for her AND me! Please, can we make summer last a little while longer?