Summer officially kicks off on June 21st and now is the time to plan our weekends around warm weather and being outdoors. Summer also brings the words we dread to hear from our kids, “Mom, I’m bored!” This usually comes about two hours after the bell rings on the last day of school. Alas, fear not! I have compiled some great ideas for inexpensive boredom busters that will keep your kids so busy there will be no time for complaining!

Like most kids, my children prefer tech related indoor activities to real life, fresh air, and fun in the sun pastimes that I want them to partake in. To help them feel a little more motivated to get off their gadgets I introduced The Boring Jar. I borrowed this clever idea from a fellow mom blogger Stephanie at Somewhat Simple. The Boring Jar is a jar filled with scraps of paper with ideas for activities the kids can pick from when they are feeling bored and are looking to mom or dad for entertainment. The catch is, there is also some not so fun activities like household chores in the jar. They take the chance of getting a fun activity like “Have a picnic” or they may get “put out the trash”. I am hoping this will help them learn to come up with their own ideas to entertain themselves.

As all summers do, this one will fly by so don’t wait to take advantage of all the fun (and sometimes free) activities available to you and your family. Let’s start local, your town's recreation & parks department website can offer a plethora of classes, day camps, public pools, campgrounds and parks to enjoy at low cost (sometimes free) pricing. Your local library is a great resource and may offer free story times, concerts and summer reading programs for kids and sometimes offer prizes as incentives to get kids to read during the summer. Some major retailers like Home Depot and Michael’s offer free or low cost kid workshops to entice parents to come shop while their are kids busy with a cool project.  Some local community groups organize free festivals, outdoor movies and concerts that can found by searching online sites like Mommy Poppins or Macaroni Kid. While beaches make for a whole day full of fun in the sun not all of us are lucky enough to live near one. A great alternative to the beach is a water playground, these splash pads are becoming very popular at local parks and city centers and offer a safe place for kids to play and cool off. You can find them by searching “water parks” on Yelp or Google. When a rainy day spoils your sunny plans you can take the opportunity to visit some of your local museums. Most museums offer a free day once a month or offer discounts on their website. Mommy & me movies are a great way to take little ones to a movie without worrying if you are going to bother other patrons with kid noise. Many movie theaters offer these special showings once a week at an earlier time and a discount ticket cost.  Bowling is another fun and inexpensive, yet suitable for all ages, activity that can bring the family together. After all that is what summer is all about, family spending time together. Quick, before it’s over get out and do something! Thanks for keeping it EZ. Truly, Kristin M