Tried-and-true Activities for Younger Kids by Michelle Robinson
"Mommy, I'm bored...there's nothing fun to do..."
Sound familiar? If you are a parent of young kids, I would bet that you have heard this before. Especially during the summertime--sure, for the first couple of weeks after school ends, summer break is exciting to kids.
They are thrilled to be home all the time and able to relax and play all day. But after the newness of being out of school wears off, the boredom sets in for kids and that's when parents start hearing grumblings of discontent.
How do we handle the boredom? You can, of course, spend time playing with your children--board games are great for this--but that alone will not solve the issue. Kids need activities they can do on their own because parents do not always have the time to play; kids need to learn to occupy themselves (with parental supervision, of course).
So, I have compiled my top 10 boredom-busting activities for young kids. These are tried-and-true, both by my own children and by children I had in preschool and summer camp classes I used to teach. The activities I listed are best for younger children, I would say for ages 4 to 8--but, you can modify many of them to suit older kids.
1. Paint with water: This is an outside activity, best for a hot day. Give your child a small bucket of water (light enough for him to carry) and a paintbrush. Then tell him to go paint the fence, or the porch, or the sidewalk--or let him decide what to paint. This may not sound like a very exciting activity, but believe me--kids love it! Vary the size of paintbrushes you offer your child to keep him interested.
2. Vinegar water spray bottles: Think your kids don't like to clean? Try giving them their own spray bottle filled with a weak vinegar water solution (safe for kids and most household surfaces) and a rag and you will be amazed! My kids will actually ask if they can do this activity, and I had preschoolers in one of my classes as young as the age of 2 who had a blast doing this. You do need to make a rule or two, though--one of mine is "One spray, then wipe"--otherwise, the kids would be happy to just spray and spray...(more)