Summer Boredom Busters for Older Kids


Summer Boredom Busters Older Kids Des Moines Moms Blog

If given the opportunity, I think my two boys would spend a majority of their summer in our basement watching YouTube Kids or playing Minecraft. 

If I don’t suggest something else for them to do, they will likely continue on with the screens without realizing how much time they’ve been on it. I can’t get too upset with them for this because I’ve been known to mindlessly scroll through Instagram or Pinterest for an hour without realizing how much time I’ve wasted. (We are all working on this in our house!) 

During the summer, we try to stick to no screens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it has worked really well in the past. However, having a list of things for them to do instead can be very helpful for when the “I’m Bored” phrases are heard. 

5 Summer Boredom Busters (That Need Some Adult Help)

  1. Do a science experiment. We purchased a cheap science experiment book at Half Price Books and my kids are responsible for finding the materials needed or creating a list of supplies they will need. Pinterest is full of science experiments to do at home!
  2. Read in an unusual location. Sometimes we take our books to a neighborhood park or Starbucks to read. Sometimes we read on our deck or on the front steps too. It can be motivating to read in a new location! This also helps us get through our summer reading programs at our local library, Barnes and Noble, and Half Price Book Store.
  3. Do an art project. Find recyclable materials like toilet paper rolls, old fabric, straws, etc and have the kids make something. We like to build birdhouses out of recyclables to see if birds will actually use them.
  4. Go for a walk with a purpose. Walk through your neighborhood and pick up garbage. Or take an egg carton and collect something unusual in each section. Try finding something from each color of the rainbow.
  5. Try a new recipe. Whether it’s something simple like homemade juice popsicles or something more complex, letting your kids try things in the kitchen can be a lot of fun. One of my boys loves to look through his cookbook to find a recipe, write out the ingredients we need, and go to the grocery store to shop.

Summer Boredom Busters Older Kids Des Moines Moms Blog 5 Summer Boredom Busters (No Adult Help Needed)

  1. Clean out the toy box. This is a great way to donate old toys but also bring some forgotten toys back to life. There’s nothing like the threat of getting rid of toys not played with that motivates my kids to start playing with them again!
  2. Make a movie. This one technically involves screens, but it is fun to see how creative kids can be. My kids love to turn on the radio or a song from a CD and use their tablets to record short movies. They write out a script and rehearse their lines.
  3. Play a game. We have SO many board games at our house. Most were gifted but we’ve also picked up some used games at garage sales too. UNO, Monopoly Junior, and Sorry are family favorites.
  4. Set up the sprinkler. My kids can keep themselves busy for hours in the sprinkler in the yard. (It is best to keep a watchful eye on all kids around water.)
  5. Do a Lego challenge. (Pinterest is great for ideas) Have your kids use their Lego stash to build something fun. If you don’t use Pinterest, think of things they could build for the house. Maybe a new napkin holder? A pencil cup? A box for their colored pencils?

Summer Boredom Busters Older Kids Des Moines Moms Blog

Hopefully, these ideas that will make your summer days a bit easier! Check out 50 more summer boredom buster here!

What are your favorite summer boredom busters? 

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Katie Nyberg
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Wes, and we have two energetic boys who are active in hockey, cross country, choirs, bands, and track. Our family loves to explore Des Moines, travel around the country, and do anything sports related together! I own a birth and postpartum doula agency called The Iowa Baby Ladies that supports families in Central Iowa. We love serving mothers in our area as they grow, birth, and mother their babies with confidence!


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