- Library – You see it time and time again on frugal blogs – the library. But seriously…you wouldn’t see it if it didn’t work for so many people! Our library provides books, story time, summer activities like camps and story times with dogs, videos, magazines, and even study material. That’s right…at our library you can borrow for up to 3 weeks a package of “science” or “math” or “spelling” (and others) material for a particular age range. It may not sound fun to the kids, but it will keep them on their toes during the summer and they might discover some fun games!
- Bring out the hose – You might waste some water, so this isn’t the most frugal idea, but a great way to keep cool if you don’t have a pool. Better yet – get the kids to wash your car and pay them for it. They get to earn some summer money, you get a (semi-) clean car, they get to play with the hose, and you get an hour or so without hearing “I’m bored!”
- Geocaching and Letterboxing – What a great way to spend time together as a family. It only costs you whatever gasoline you need (although most of this will be walking). Most people either have a GPS for their car or on their phones these days, so this would be a great opportunity to explore your local landscape and teach your children about GPS/compass reading. Also you could do the “nature walk” thing while your hunting down your treasures!
- Volunteering – This will only cost you your time and energy but the rewards will be priceless. Spend time together as a family working with some local organization that needs your help. You and your children will learn more about giving and serving as well as get to help out others in need. Contact your local Habitat for Humanity, shelters, soup kitchens, churches, or animal shelters.
- Cards/Board Games – One of my all time favorites – we are a board game family! I grew up playing various card games (there are dozens of versions of solitaire and you don’t even need a computer to play them!) as well as board games. I was so “deprived” that I played Sorry, Monopoly, Life, etc by myself. I know…sounds pitiful, but there is a lot to be said for a child learning to entertain themselves rather than depending on someone else to do so!
- Puzzles – Whether it is the jigsaw variety or the crossword type, puzzles can pass hours, keep your brain working, and sometimes give kids something to do together!
- Lemonade Stand – This age-old first business is a great way to keep kids occupied while teaching them some business sense. One great twist here in the deep south is sweet tea stands. Children in our neighborhood sell sweet tea right about the time neighbors are arriving home from work. The tea isn’t always very good, but it is a great way to support the kids and it puts a smile on my face when I am getting home in the afternoon.
So none of these are original, but all pass the time, teach kids something, and/or get them out of your hair (at least for a little while!).
What boredom busters do you have?
If you want to see other people’s great ideas, hop over to We Are THAT Family and check out Works for Me Wednesday!
Photo credit: matchstick