No more boredom: Tips to keeping your children busy

As a mom of two boys, I know how important it is to keep kids busy. Coming up with various activities to fight off boredom is so important to keeping our household happy.

Emily Patterson on behalf of Primrose Schools has these helpful hints to busy without spending a fortune.

Wallet Friendly Tips to Keep Your Children Busy this Summer

Studies show that without stimulation, children can lose up to 60 percent of what they learned during the school year. Primrose Schools, a franchise of private preschools, suggests the key to overcoming summertime boredom and the “brain drain” effect is to encourage imaginative play and have a plan in place to keep children engaged during the summer months.

And really what could be worse than a rainy summer day, when your children are cooped up inside and you have nothing planned? Even on sunny days where the list of activities they can engage in seem endless…they'll probably still yell the inevitable “I’m bored!”

So to help ward this fear off here are just a few ideas to keep young minds active during the summer months:

1. Beat the Boredom Jar: At the beginning of the summer, sit down with your family and brainstorm a list of activities that can be done alone or that you can enjoy doing together. Encourage your children to share their own ideas and help you decorate and label a simple jar as the family “Boredom Buster Jar.” They’ll feel more involved in the project and more likely to think this is a “neat” idea, if they participate in the creation and idea generation. Next, write everyone’s ideas down on slips of paper and as a group decide which ones should go in the jar. Anyone in the family can pull any idea out of the jar to fight the summertime boredom blues.

2. Stories Alive: It sounds too simple, but reading is one of the most important ways to keep young minds engaged during the summer. Make reading even more fun by finding ways to bring the stories to life. Read a book with your children and then challenge them to create their own scenes with materials they find in the backyard.

3. Fort Building: Children love to build all kinds of structures. Constructing forts or tents is an activity that can keep children focused and problem solving for hours. All the items you need can be found around the house–some chairs, cushions, blankets… and of course adult supervision.

4. Cookbook Fun: Have you ever shared your favorite cookbook with your children? Take it out and ask your children to choose a recipe to try. This can be a fun way to help your kids with their math skills, as well as teach them the importance of eating and staying healthy.

5. Summer Scrapbook: All you need for this project is a spiral notebook. Encourage everyone in the family to draw pictures of favorite activities and collect mementos from special events throughout the summer. Children love to go back through scrapbooks and albums and tell about what happened at each occasion. They will also be building their storytelling skills at the same time.

6. Listening Game: Lie down in the backyard, in the den or at the park and listen. What do you hear? Do you hear what I hear? Can you imitate the sound? It encourages everyone to slow down and focus on listening.

7. Camping Out: Pretend to campout in the backyard. Pack some snack and cards in a backpack and set up a campsite. You might even decide to spend the night!

“Keeping children engaged with open-ended activities that stretch their imaginations during the summer months helps them develop their independence, creativity, and thinking,” said Dr. Zurn. “We want to help parents keep the “brain drain”at bay while their children play.”

Parents can use this list of ideas as a starting point for summer activities that offer a balance between the freedom of child-initiated play time and more structured activities.

Submitted by Emily Patterson on behalf of Primrose Schools. For over 25 years, they have helped individuals achieve higher levels of success by providing them with an AdvancED® accredited,early educational child care services. Through an accelerated Balanced Learning® curriculum, Primrose Schools students are exposed to a widely diverse range of subject matter giving them a much greater opportunity to develop mentally, physically and socially. Emily has written a number of articles on topics varying from bilingual learning to teaching the importance of volunteering.


  1. Wonderful ideas to keep the kids engaged and not subdued through the use of technology. Even my older boys need a good dose of old fashioned fun.

  2. My kiddos love fort building! You are right, they will/can use anything!

    Celebrating Family

  3. We do picnics in the basement. My daughter gets out her blankets, paper plates, etc. and serves me pretend food. She's very particular about who sits where, etc. Its so much fun to watch her use her imagination.