Frugal Summer Activities for Bored Kids

By Larraine Roulston:

With sunny summer days, along with extended evening light, there are plenty of activities around to keep kids entertained for a couple of months. As schedules and workloads also take on a relaxed pace, all should be content on the home front. Yet, there will come a day or two when you hear a woeful sound emerging from the depths of the house moaning, “I need something to doooooo” followed by a long agonizing sighhhhhhh.

Despite all the great times associated with summer, the sad truth is that without school activities, many children will become bored. With no family outings planned at this time of great emotional distress, it becomes the moment of truth when parents must rise to the occasion to ease their child’s/children’s misery. With your best frugal skills in mind, you can tackle the problem with pen and paper to list all
potential possibilities. Ask your children to suggest ideas of their own. Together, post them on the fridge or cut individual pieces of paper to deposit into a special “Bored Jar.” As time goes by, digging into the
Bored Jar will most likely become a weekly source of amusement. 

The below link offers a long list of activities. Wellness Momma notes 63 great ideas to check out. My contributions to the list include the following:

  • Teach your offspring how to play chess. You’ll be surprised at what an early age youngsters are able to pick up the moves.
  • With flour, salt, cream of tartar, vegetable oil and food coloring on hand, mix up a batch of homemade play dough .
  • Ask kids to create a skit that includes song and dance. Promise  to sit and watch the performance.
  • With paper, old business cards, and markers or crayons, see if they  can create their own board game. Use buttons, pebbles, paperclips or toothpicks, etc., to resemble any game pieces they might require.
  • Encourage the idea of taking a tennis racquet or soccer ball to practice a skill against one of your local school’s windowless walls.
  • Start a 3Rs craft box. By this, I mean find objects that cannot be reused and put them into a box. Items can include corks, torn netting, frayed ribbon, coiled metal springs, an outdated calendar, a cracked badminton birdie, bits of fabric, Styrofoam, a broken earring and unusual packaging shapes. When a sufficient variety has been acquired, bring it out to create junk art. Children can either make something permanent or simply arrange the items into an interesting design, then scoop up the pieces to be used another time.
  • Teach them to how to play solitaire.

  • Run around the house 10 times.
  • Untangle wool and threads from a sewing kit.
  • Clean out the crumbs from the cutlery tray and neatly replace the forks, knives and spoons.
  • Sort a box of gift ribbons and paper.

Suggesting that boredom is a rare and delightful time just to sit and meditate or take a nap may not exactly fly at this time. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared by looking around the house for a suitable container
to be labeled “Bored” and start filling it with a few interesting ideas of your own.

Related Links:



Larraine writes illustrated children’s adventure books on composting and pollinating.  Visit www.castlecompost.com

Larraine Roulston

A mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children's adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at www.castlecompost.com. As well, Larraine and her husband Pete have built a straw bale home and live in Ontario.

1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Nancee Caye

    July 11, 2017

    I like the one that says to run around the building 10 times…our kids in the neighborhood kids actually do this. A neighbor puts a big tub out with gloves, pads, and helmets so it’s easy to grab when they take to bikes or scooters.
    Another project that I adore is being done by 2 young neighbors. They showed up at my door and explained their goal…to make money for summer fun. They aren’t sure what that is yet to be decided. They have asked neighbors to let them have some of their recycle material for them to take to recycler. I realized that some mom gets to be the driver. And some home is the storage units of collections.
    The boys are keeping track of how much each type of item yeilds in money.
    I have been so delighted to participate, but I don’t buy or use anything that can go to a recycler. So, with mom’s understanding, once a week I go to the neighborhood recycle bin and take out about a dozen things the boys can use.
    Sweet sweet kids!

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