Summer is just around the corner. And with it, for those of us with children, comes a lot of time to fill. There are so many fun opportunities, but so many of them are expensive. With three kids and a fourth on the way, we can’t afford to keep our kids in camps all summer long, though they would love it. We pick and choose a few things, but that means a lot of down time at home. With 100 degree heat and super active kids, this is a scary recipe for nuclear meltdown. So here are 25 boredom busters from the dollar store to keep you and the kids busy for as little money as possible!
(I apologize for all the iPhone photos. I brought my Nikon without memory card: Doh!)
1. Go Fly a Kite.
2. Break Out the Glow Sticks for a Light Saber Fight or Dance Party.
My boys love these and even though the summer darkness comes usually past their bedtime, they love ducking into a closet or dark room to jump around and watch their own glow. (Check out my tutorial on taking Glow Stick photos at night!)
3. Have a Squirt Gun Fight.
4. Go on a Bug Walk and Catch Some Critters.
5. Get Creative with Sidewalk Chalk with these ideas from Life as Mama.
6. Have a Water Balloon Fight.
The ratio of filling time to playing time may be horribly skewed (as in, your hard work to fill can be undone in about two minutes of throwing), but you can always play games rather than just peg each other. The simplest being a simple game of toss where you take a step back after each completed toss and see who gets wet first.
7. Make Rubber Band Art with these ideas from Babble.
8. Take Rubber Band Photoswith inspiration from The Meta Picture.
9. Have a Treasure Hunt.
There are tons of great little items in the party aisle for gift bags like these fake coins. Hide them around the house or outside in the yard and either let the kids find them or draw a simple map to the various locations. My boys love trying to follow a treasure map of our house.
10. Round Up Loose Change.
Snag a pack of coin wrappers and collect loose change around the house or even organize the piggy banks. If your kids are preschool age, you can even teach them to distinguish the coins and their values.
11. Plant a Patio Garden.
12. Organize Toys, Books, or Your Craft Closet.
Snag some cute baskets or tubs with lids and set your kids to work organizing toys or crafts or just cleaning out their closet.
13. Play with Silly Putty or Play Doh.
They even have a glow-in-the-dark silly putty option, which was a huge hit with my boys.
14. Do Some Educational activities.
There are a plethora of materials like dry erase boards or learning games available in the school aisle. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean your kids can’t do some fun learning activities. My boys actually love these kinds of things and think they are more like games than work.
15. Learn to Hula Hoop.
16. Play Hula Hoop Games like these from eHow.
17. Take a Bubble Bath or Fill a Baby Pool with Bubbles.
18. Have an Animal Cracker Parade…and Then Eat It.
19. Make Sock Puppets and Have a Puppet Show.
20. Do a jigsaw puzzle.
21. Play Jump Rope Rhyming Games with these rhymes from Homespun Waldorf.
22. Play an Outdoor Game Like Catch or Badminton.
During the summer months there is one whole aisle of outdoor and pool activities, most of which can be great entertainment, whether you are playing with your kids or having them play alone.
23. Try Clothespin Crafts and Activities with these ideas from Kids Activities Blog.
24. Play Indoor Flashlight Games like these from Red Tricycle.
25. Have a Balloon Sword fight.
Recently we went to a birthday party at a playground with fun activities and games. But hands-down the hottest ticket were the balloon “swords.” You can buy a variety pack of balloons and simply fill the long balloons up (the dollar store often will even carry a hand pump to fill them!), tie them off, and the kids had a blast. They pop quickly, especially outside with grass, so consider buying two packs.
I hope this is a helpful list! There are probably enough items to do 25 (or even 50) more things, but these 25 boredom busters from the dollar store will give you a great start to beating the doldrums this summer. Most of them will require $1-3 max per activity, depending on the number of kids you have. Considering our local indoor jump-y place is like $6 or more per kid for one session, that’s a steal! Plus many of these can be used over and over again. Another fun option is to give each of your kids a $1-2 “allowance” and take them to the dollar store where they can pick one or two items of their choice. My boys always choose silly string. ALWAYS.
Do you have any easy and affordable ideas to keep kids busy and excited at home this summer?
Don’t miss part two- 25 MORE Boredom Busters from the Dollar Store!