There's nothing better than having your kids home for summer vacation, but let's get real. After about a week of fun in the sun, chances are your little ones will run out of things to do and start complaining that they're bored. While it can be tempting to let your children watch TV for hours on end while you chill out next to an oscillating fan, instead check out our Summer Survival Guide –– complete with 10 sure-fire ways to keep your kids entertained this season!
1. Go camping in the backyard.
Break out the camping gear and have your kids set up a tent in your garden! They'll have tons of fun making s'mores, getting cozy in their sleeping bags, and telling ghost stories. You can even help them barbecue hot dogs and hamburgers! And yes, chances are they'll be begging to sleep in their own rooms by bedtime. Sigh, can't win 'em all.
2. Buy an inflatable pool.
The best cure for the Summer Blues? A pool party! Turn your yard into a waterpark with a slip n' slide, squirt guns, beach balls, and an inflatable pool, and then sit back and relax as your kids entertain themselves for hours on end. Just make sure to lather them up with plenty of sunscreen....
3. One word: puzzles.
Summer is a great time to get your kids outdoors, but sometimes the scalding hot weather makes it impossible to leave the house. Times like these call for our favorite boredom cure: puzzles! They're fun, will enhance your child's problem solving skills, and can be enjoyed by the entire family. And in air conditioning, no less!
4. Two words: water balloons.
Don't have the energy to turn your yard into a pool party? Hand your rambunctious children a bag of water balloons and a garden hose, and let them go to town. The upside? They'll be entertained for hours. The downside? You'll have to clean up water balloon scraps all afternoon. But that's what your husband is for, right?
5. Stock up on books.
Why watch TV when there are books to be read? Instead of letting your kids zone out with Spongebob Squarepants, take them to the bookstore and buy a few copies of your favorite childhood classic. Yep, it's time for a mini-book club! Assign one book per week and then discuss their favorite parts of the story over ice cream.
6. Plan some killer craft projects.
We envision our kids crafting up a storm in the summer, but it can be hard to whip together a project on the fly. Our suggestion? Plan in advance by buying supplies for your favorite craft projects –– that way you can bust 'em out at a moment's notice! For a list of great summer projects, head here.
7. Make popsicles.
Kids love cooking projects, but who wants to be in front of a hot oven during the height of summer? Not us, that's for sure. If you're looking for a cool kitchen project for your children, help them make popsicles with fruit, juice, and herbs! Head here to check out our recipe roundup for inspiration.
8. Press flowers from your garden.
This old-fashioned project is tons of fun, and you already have all the supplies you need! Just have your kids pick a few flowers from the garden, and then press them in between the pages of their favorite book. In a few weeks they should have a gorgeous dried flower, which you can help them frame.
9. Make a lemonade stand.
There's nothing more fun than buying homemade lemonade from a bunch of adorable kiddos! Your children will love making a few bucks by selling the sweet stuff to neighbors, and you can help them brainstorm creative ways to spend the money they earn. Oh, and bonus? Making the stand signage doubles as a craft project, so better bust out the glitter glue.
10. Treasure hunt.
Throw together a makeshift treasure hunt in just a few minutes by hiding clues around your house that lead to one summer-friendly prize (maybe a six-pack of homemade popsicles in the freezer!). Your kids will love searching for the treasure, and will be entertained for at least a half hour while you take some much-needed time to relax. After all, thinking up clues is hard work!