Summer can seem quite long sometimes, and to prevent the kids being bored out of their minds we have some great activities for you to try out. These summer boredom busters are part of our #31daysofactivities event where we have been sharing lots of ideas to get the kids entertained and keep them busy. This post is brought to you thanks to Lavania from The Amazing Adventures of Me.
When you’re facing the six week stretch of the summer holidays it’s almost daunting to try and think of multiple way to keep the kids busy which don’t cost a lot of money. Booking tickets for big tourist attractions always seems like a great idea until you arrive and places are overcrowded with likeminded parents wondering when the price of a “99” ice cream went to £2.50 (or more).
When the kids say I’m bored:
We love nothing more than a budget friendly family outing and a scavenger hunt is ideal for this. We use an egg box to collect all of our found treasures. We can take this activity absolutely anywhere, exploring parks, country walks, mountain hikes and of course the coastline – all for free! We really enjoy heading to the woods because the shade from the trees during the summer is a relief.
Scavenger hunting with an egg box
When Arlo was little we started easy with scavenging for colours. I would prepare our egg box by dabbing splodges of paint in each hole or “well” and then Arlo would explore happily – finding flower petals, leaves and all sorts of random things to complete his rainbow collection.
The beauty of this activity is that you can find an egg box anywhere – so if you’re on a caravan park holiday and heading to a beach then you can have eggs for breakfast and take your box to the beach to collect shells and pebbles. Use a sharpie to draw shapes in the bottom of each well – It can take ages to hunt around the shoreline looking for the perfect square and heart shaped pebbles. Then of course you can make patterns, sculptures and pictures by using your found items creatively.
Quite often our little collection ends up overspilling from the egg box and so I often take along a little canvas bag too. Now that Arlo is four we have a whole kit which he has developed for exploring. This includes a magnifying glass to get a closer look at anything he can find, as well as binoculars because he loves to spot birds. Quite often we take out small reference books with us to help identify wild flowers, mushrooms, birds, trees or whatever else we can find.
Tree rubbings and pattern spotting
We take wax crayons out with us and some paper too. I have a little A5 zip up pouch which I keep in the car which has a special set of crayons and pens and these are just for “out and about” – These are great to take tree bark rubbings. These can also be useful for capturing any interesting patterns – from manhole covers to plaques on statues. If you’re stuck for a day and want to do something cheap and cheerful then you can hop on a bus or train to visit a new area and spot patterns.
Collect the alphabet
With the phonics taking over our lives ever since school began Arlo has a keen eye for any letters he spots on street signs and so we set ourselves the challenge to try and “collect” the whole alphabet when exploring a new town or city. Either through rubbings or even with using his toy camera. This can take up an entire day and the older kids and adults like to get involved in this as it can be quite tricky finding some of the letters so we get very competitive. Our favourite place to do this has been Stratford Upon Avon because there are so many different store fronts, plaques and statues.
I spy – counting game
We also work on numbers – so finding the numbers 1-10 represented and in the correct order. Think of it a bit like making up the twelve days of Christmas on the spot. One rose in a bush, two fishermen at the lake, three dogs. Barking, four boys playing football, five petals on a flower etc. This is a good one for long car journeys as you can spot from a window as you’re passing. It’s an evolved version of I spy and again you can play collaboratively or in competition with each other.
Using your nature finds
Whenever we come home from a treasure hunt or even perhaps if we are sitting in a restaurant in the middle of the day waiting for food to arrive then we like to review our treasures. Using crayons and paper to begin observational drawings is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and create a moment of calm. If you have a craft stash then it’s easy to find an activity on Pinterest which you can attempt. Just type in something like “things to make with pinecones for children” and see what comes up.
Arts and craft projects
In or craft stash at home we keep the basics of PVA glue, masking tape, Googly eyes, marker pens and scraps of Paper/felt alongside all manner of useful bits and bobs. I like to pull out a small selection of materials which fits with the season or suits a theme and pop them on to a tinker tray for open ended creative sessions along with our nature funds We also have a play-dough kit – a special tool box which I top up after every use with additional items to surprise Arlo. Buttons, sequins, lollipop sticks, cotton buds and all manner of random household items work wonders. If you’re happy to work on a large scale then a tuff tray can be adapted for all manner of creative play ideas and used indoors and out. Pinecones, twigs, leaves and acorns are excellent play resources.
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Come back soon,