Summer is a double-edged sword for most kids….while it never comes quick enough, and never seems long enough, the days can be filled with more “I’m bored’s” than you know what to do with!
And as much as we’d all like to be on a European Vacation or RV-ing our way from one national park to the next, we don’t all have that kind of luxury. Google-ing “How to keep kids busy over the summer” seems like a sad next step from the first choice of “Rafting the Colorado River”. But here we are!
For some reason a list of simple ways to stay busy with my kids never seems to catch my attention… the “go to the park” or “fly a kite” just never seems to inspire me. In fact they feel like a far cry suggestion next to the things that I WANT to be doing with my kids over Summer Break!
So, since we aren’t zipping through the Redwoods this summer, I’ve compiled a list that will bring new perspective and will hopefully inspire some ways to help your child really connect with the activities.
This list can be viewed more like the “7 periods” of a school day. If you actually incorporated all of them, every day, you will have quite the structured summer!


1. Have a daily routine

Whether it’s a morning ritual or a daily must-do, having something that your kids expect really helps them not only connect with the activity, but for you both to connect over something they will never forget. “Hey Mom, remember that Summer we did yoga together every morning?”

It could be anything… morning “coffee” on the deck, reading the actual newspaper, meditation, etc. something as simple as a daily ritual can help provide structure for long summer days. Maybe even a great way to get the household up and moving every morning.

kids doing yoga2. Exercise together

Set workout goals like 3x per week. The idea here isn’t just to say “I’m bored today, let’s workout” the goal is to show your child that exercise should be a priority and you are committed to keeping a regular activity over the summer.  

Depending on the age of your child, you might be able to take turns writing the workout. Maybe you can even have a race or a timed workout to kick it up a notch! This will build healthy lifestyle habits faster than you realize!

parents and kids exercising together

3. Have a Summer-long project

Whether we are talking growing a garden, painting a mural or even building a clubhouse, the focus of working on something together over the entire summer will begin to teach life skills that your child won’t even realize are threaded into the project.  You could even do projects, one by one, from this popular book called “Made by Dad“.

Child planting a garden

4. Chores

Yes, sorry kids. But try some new stuff…maybe take the time to work on certain housework together, like possibly new chores that will teach them new skills. Or work on bigger things together like cleaning out the garage or re-organizing the linen closet.

kids doing chores

Of course the daily to-dos need to get done,  but you would have to fight that battle anyhow. If you keep chores built into a regular scheduling, much more will get accomplished!

5. Weekend travel

Doesn’t have to be far, but take your time during the week to research local spots that would make for a great overnight trip. Let the kids help research and plan the trip. It will instill some sense of ownership rather than just feeling like their along for the ride.

kayaking with the kids

6. Join a group

Check with your local library or maybe your local YMCA for an activity that catches your eye. Many times there are weekly groups in a community that are free to join. The regularity of being a part of a group will be a healthy investment of your time over the summer, and you might even meet some cool people!

join a group

Get out there – push your limits…just because we typically drive everywhere doesn’t mean it’s the only option!  Besides, it’s the summer, so you’ve got some time! Try riding bikes to the grocery store instead of driving the car, walk downtown, take scooters or roller blades to the community pool. You get the idea. Think it’s too far, think again….

Keeping kids busy Endless summer Pinterest


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