These were the first two words out of my older son’s mouth after a mere 2 days into our summer vacation.  Frankly, I am surprised he lasted that long!  This is definitely my child that blossoms with routine and structure.  There must be a schedule, an expectation, an upcoming activity or an event or he cannot fully function.

Even on summer vacation.

Lucky for him, I am much the same way.  I thrive on routine (gee, wonder where my children get that trait?).  I am a to-do maker, a scheduler, a list follower.  And, when that routine isn’t in place, it is easy to have the old feeling of the doldrums settling in for the long haul.

Over the years, though, I have equipped myself with some quick and easy ideas to keep my child in check on those “boring” summer days.  They involve little preparation, and most of the supplies can be found around your house.  Best of all, they are perfect for summertime.

*PAINT THE TOWN!  Grab a brush (the bigger the better, and I always knew I’d find another use for the roller brush I couldn’t stand when I was painting the living room) and a bucket of water, then head outside.  Paint the car.  Paint a fence.  Paint each other!  And cool off at the same time.

*SCAVENGER HUNT!  This is definitely tops with my son.  Create a list of things for your child to find in and around your home.  You are only limited to whatever is in your area.  We’re keen on finding worms and roly polies outside, while our top inside choices are paper clips, small toys, and dryer lint!  Drag out those magnifying glasses and thinking caps and get hunting!

*LEARN A CLASSIC GAME!  Pick Up Sticks was one of my favorite games while growing up, primarily because of the challenge and the thought process involved in uncovering each stick without disturbing any others.  And, you aren’t limited to the actual game set to play the game.  Use whatever you have around the house: straws, toothpicks (with older children), and even crayons, pencils or markers.

*MAKE YOUR OWN POPSICLES!  While these do take time, anyone can make a popsicle.  All you need is a container and a stick.  We have been known to use ice cube trays, egg cartons, and paper or plastic cups.  And, as for sticks, plastic spoons are fun (toothpicks also work for older kids in small containers).  And, what to put in it?  Kool Aid is always a hit here, but even a water popsicle is great, as long as you and your child are making them together.  Add a couple of drops of food coloring to make them more exciting. 

As we all kick off summer, I hope your days are filled with more YAY! moments and not so many I’M BORED ones.