End Stuck At Home Summer Boredom

Mark Douet

Summer break from school - every school year many parents look forward to more time with their children during the school break in the summer.  Maybe you dream of fantastic trips to campgrounds and beaches, educational and interesting trips to historical sites, and the time you can spend just relaxing and hanging out with your kids.

Unfortunately, not every summer day will be a day of freedom and fun.

While you will get to have some fun family trips and relaxing days, other times you will be stuck at home with not much else to do. This could be due to weather-related issues like excessive heat or wildfire smoke. It may also be caused by other responsibilities that keep your family needs to remain home.

It may be tempting to rely TV, video games and other electronic media to entertain your kids during less than perfect summer days.  While some screen time can be welcome, it's important to limit screen time, even in the summer. Too much screen time has been linked to childhood obesity, attention problems, school problems, and sleep issues (according to the American Association of Pediatrics, AAP.) The current recommendations from the AAP limit screen time to two hours a day, and encourage parents to either watch or heavily monitor what their children and teens are watching.

So when you are stuck at home in the summer, what can you do?

1) Get into Summer Reading

Summer reading is a big deal.  Local libraries have summer reading programs, bookstores promote books that are great summer reads. You and your children have the time to sit and read as long as you like, without fear of homework deadlines.  In addition to your local library summer reading program, your children can also participate in the program offered by Barnes and Noble booksellers.

  Reading is a great way to avoid summer brain drain.  

Nothing to read at home and can't get out for a quick trip to pick up a book? Many local libraries now allow you to check out e-books from your home. Your child's school website may also offer links and access to sites with e-books for kids.

2) Tackle The Housework - Together 

Housework may not seem like a fun way to spend your summer days, but you can make this work with the right approach. When you are stuck at home with your kids, make spending time with your kids a priority. 

Catch up on housework while talking with them. Show them how to do new chores while you do them together.  Share stories of when you learned how to do different chores. The idea here is that you are doing something, anything, and talking together. 

At the same time, you will both be able to look back when you are done and see the completed work, whether it is folded laundry or an organized garage, or giving the lawnmower a needed tune-up. Knowing you accomplished something together is a great confidence booster and relationship builder between you and your kids. You will also be in a cleaner home, rather thana messier one.

3) Play Games 

This fall and winter favorite can be fun in the summer as well.

  Play simple card games like War, Go Fish,  or teach your children other favorites.  Try more involved board games, like Settlers of Cataan.  This game has several different expansion pack options, so you can keep the game fresh by adding to the game every once in a while. Card games encourage children to think, reason and remember. Games can also help you fight summer brain drain in your children.

You can also bring some outdoor games indoors. One possibility is indoor broomball. Instead of playing broomball on ice, play on a smooth floor. Use a wadded up piece of paper and brooms for each player to hit the paper ball into a goal that you have marked on the floor with removable masking tape.

4) Make No-Bake Kitchen Treats. 

Being stuck at home in the summer usually happens during high heat, when you don't want to cook and heat up the house. Instead, make no-bake cookies, popsicles, ice cream, salads, fresh salsa, hummus or coleslaw. 

Preparing food together will also help to keep your child's math skills fresh by measuring and adding and subtracting amounts. They will also sharpen their practical reading skills if they are following a recipe. Best of all, you can enjoy healthy, homemade treats you prepared together.

A Word From Verywell

While being stuck at home during summer vacation may not be what you hoped for, the time you spend with your child can still make great memories. Being creative and enjoying your time together will make this time go by quickly. When you are able to return to normal activities, you will have spent some great time with your child.

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