My kids have nine days of school left this year. I estimate it will be 9.5 days before the “I’m bored” chorus begins. Even though we school at home now, the summer transition is about the same as it was when the kids went to public school. They can’t wait for school to end, and then they can’t wait for summer to be over.
Now, at my house, when kids begin the “I’m bored chorus” it falls under the category of whining, and anyone who has the energy to whine has the energy to wash dishes or clean a bathroom. But in all honestly, if you have kids home during the summer, you want them to have an enjoyable, enriching summer vacation without breaking the bank. And you likely get bored sometimes too.
Do you have a list of cheap boredom busters around your house? You should! Trust me, this will save your pocketbook and your sanity in the summer.
In recent weeks, we’ve taught our oldest daughter a number of fun card games, as well as the addictive word game “bananagrams.” She can run across the street and find the neighbor kid who will play these games for hours on end, on either a rainy or a too-hot day.
What should kids be doing in the summer? At my house, here’s what I ask of my children. They need to make a list at the beginning of summer with some ideas for each category. Then when they come to me with the “I’m bored” song, while I’m preparing dinner, they may either choose something from the list to do, or clean the bathroom.
The master list:
Granted, kids have limited power to entertain themselves constantly, and most of us want our kids expanding horizons. My daughters are saving for our mission trip to Africa, and doing yard work and walking dogs to raise money. They also regularly help neighbors “just because.” Hard work is a critical value in our family, so we encourage the kids to always be “doing” something.
Here’s some keys for staying sane during the summer:
Final Tip: Buckets of fun:
Each of my kids has a five-gallon bucket with a lid. You can usually get these for free at your local pastry shop. The bucket is triple duty—toybox, lunch-box, beach chair. Sometimes we just want to go have fun, but don’t really have a plan for the day. Those days, we pack sunscreen, a change of clothes and shoes for each kids, beach balls, and picnic lunches in their beach buckets and head to the local park, beach or museum.
But what about camping?
Yes… what about camping. I’m collecting thoughts on camping. Based on my last couple of camping trips, well, let’s just say the jury is still out. I am going to do a post soon on frugal camping tips though for the summer-fun season. Please let me know if you have some frugal camping tips that we can share.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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