We never appreciate our kids’ teachers more than after we’ve heard, “I’m bored!” for the millionth time during summer break. And that’s usually in the first week!
You don’t need a lot of money or time to keep your kids busy this summer. And sometimes you don’t need to keep them busy at all. Here are a few tips to try.
Let Boredom Reign
As an adult, we wish we could be bored. And a quick look around your kids’ room tells you they have no reason to be bored. They’ve got plenty of stuff to do. So when they tell you they’re bored, let them stay that way. Not only is boredom a good way to wind down from the frantic pace of scheduled activities and screen time, it forces them to be creative. It costs you nothing and eventually, they’ll find something to do. They may even (gasp!) go outside!
Take a Trip to the Library
What’s better than a free activity? How about one in an air-conditioned building that’s designed to be quiet and low-key? Take the kids to the library for an afternoon. Most local libraries offer activities (usually free) for kids throughout the week. Even if you miss that, extra reading is never a bad thing. Your non-reader might find something they can’t put down if you give them time to explore their options.
Enjoy Your Local Park
Depending on the activity, this summer fun can cost nothing or a modest registration fee. Going to a playground is free and fun, as long as you can stand the heat. Head to an aquatic center in Mecklenburg Country for swim lessons or fun in the water for a minimal cost. If you’ve got a bigger budget, sign your child up for an available summer camp program.
Play Board Games
Dig out any old board games you’ve stashed in the back of a closet, and it’s free. Pick up a board game at a garage sale for less than a dollar. Head to a discount store, and get a new game for $10. It doesn’t take a lot of money, but board games can keep the kids busy for hours. If you’re looking for a way to spend time together as a family, consider a family game night. Kids against parents, boys against girls, whatever makes it fun for everyone!
Head to the U-Pick Farm
Want to get your kids out of the house and into the great outdoors? Wish they ate less junk and more healthy foods? Take them to a blueberry, strawberry, or other farm where you pick the fruit! They’ll definitely be tired when you’re done, and they may be willing to try some of what they picked. There is a cost to this, but you can decide how much or how little you want to buy. Find a local farm near you at Local Harvest.
Play in the Sprinklers
Talk about an old-school summer past time. If your neighborhood isn’t using reclaimed water, show the kids how you used to have fun in the summer. Buy a cheap sprinkler from a home improvement store, set up a few chairs so you can watch the kids, and let them run around and get wet. Have some juice and popsicles for outside snacks and keep a stack of towels nearby. They’ll wear themselves out, get away from their screens, and the only cost is a bit of water and time. Always make sure your children have adult supervision during this activity to keep them safe.
Summers in Charlotte are a great time to relax, unwind, and let kids be kids — without breaking the bank.