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 doldrums settling in. The kids start to bicker, and they seem to be drawn more to electronics and less to fun outings. 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.
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. If a bigger day trip isn’t in the budget, pack a lunch and spend the day at a new park.
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 help plan a menu or cook dinner. Give them chores they have never tried before so they have the benefit of learning something new and you gain the added bonus of a cleaner house.
Put a Crab in Water
An old friend once told me to “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 lighten the mood. Set up the sprinkler in the backyard, fill some water balloons, or visit the beach. A day playing in water can turn 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 can lighten the mood and give siblings a much needed break from playing (and fighting) with each other. 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 long now, but before we know it the kids will be back in school and 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 summer days—and even the boredom—one day at a time.