Summer days can be long and can be daunting with kids at home-especially when there are different ages to keep busy. Boredom never killed anybody-but possibly could drive any mother insane. Walks (to the park or just to get outside and burn some steam), outside play, and indoor “projects” are the ways I’ve found work best. Here are some ideas on how to keep them busy at home-our favorite summer toys and activities with some tips on what has worked best for me.
We’ve had this best-selling Razor scooter for as long as we’ve lived here-almost two decades. It’s been passed down, and used often by little ones and teenagers. They’ve built jump for it (we have used this ramp and it works great) and have had obstacles courses with safety cones. The cones also work great for making a line at the end of the driveway so they know when to stop and turnaround.
I love love love these “big wheels” AKA Razor Rip Riders. My little brothers would ride their “big wheels” down the big gravel hill as fast as they could go and give us all a heart attack. My kids are no different! No hills here but they still find a way to make it exciting spinning out and racing. We’ve had so much use out of these Razor Rip Riders. Also a big easy birthday gift.
Such a sweet age-I miss it so much! Janey and Patrick LOVED their little plastic umbrella doll strollers so much. We’d go around and around the block, up and down the driveway, and they would push them inside all day long. This is one of those “bang for the buck” toys!
I’ve owned one of these toddler ride on toys for 25 years! We’ve worn out plenty of shoes too, but it was worth the exercise (good naps!) and joy it brought them. They don’t make this same style anymore, but here is a similar toddler ride on. (No lights or sounds or commercialism is my favorite kind of toy!)
Andrew was SO good at this pogo stick-this one can take the weight of adults, and has just the right amount of spring.
We’ve done the Butterfly Growing Kit quite a few years and I’m still amazed by the whole process-the kids would check the stages every day and in the end we’d release the beautiful butterfly. Perfect for summer.
I love Rainbow Loom! It takes some time to learn -there are lots of You Tube videos so be prepared to sit down and teach a little, unless there is an older child that knows how and can give some lessons-which is the best way to learn. The kids can gift these, sell these, or just be busy and concentrating.
This was my Lego two-tiered table invention years ago-and it worked so well. On really hot days, or when boredom would strike this was the go-to activity for all my boys. They would get Lego City kits for their gifts and the collection would grow and grow. This year we are getting them back out and making our own houses without instructions.
Patrick adored this snap together track for years and years. It is indestructible, requires them to be creative and to use their little hands to snap these things together.
Here are some hints for keeping kids busy at home:
- Start a project WITH them. Saying “go play” sometimes works but mostly does not. I found that if I set something up in the morning and started working WITH them they would get into it more and more, and then I could walk away and get things done around the house.
- On that note, taking time out of your day to sit with them and play, makes HUGE behavioral change if you are having trouble with whining. Kids need our attention-not all day and not tons of it-even just 30 minutes makes a difference.
- It’s sometimes necessary to separate siblings when there are babies and toddlers that can’t be around the older kid’s things. This is where bedrooms and gates come in for that short time-and it is short, although some days it seems like an uphill battle.
- THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT-The less (or better yet no!) electronics the kid’s have the more they will be able to play and entertain themselves. I know it’s not easy but in the long run it is better for you and for their brains.
- If the kids are old enough have a schedule or loose plan for the day and let them know it-and although summer is about having flexibility, kids thrive on routine.
- Pull back and take it easy when kids don’t seem to be settled at home. Usually for me it meant that they needed some slower days, with just us, and no places to go or people to see. Kids don’t need to be entertained constantly!