By Sabrina Rogers-Anderson
Sabrina is a writer, author and mother to three girls, a six-year-old along with four-year-old twins. An expert in the beauty and struggles of parenthood, she shares her wisdom here.
Have the desperate cries of “I’M BOOOOOREEEDDDD!” started at your house yet?! They’re in full swing at mine and they’re driving me a little loopy. I find myself using the same old lines my parents used on me when I was a kid. “If you’re so bored, you can help me clean the house,” and “Go read a book or play outside!”
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to keep kids entertained without breaking the bank this summer. Here are six of my favourite boredom busters…
1. Start a veggie patch
Gardening teaches children a sense of responsibility, enhances their gross and fine motor skills, encourages a love of nature, sharpens their science and maths skills, and creates quality family time. Best of all, even the pickiest of eaters becomes adventurous when it’s time to sample a vegetable they’ve grown themselves! Our kids munch kale and spinach straight from the garden.
If you don’t have any gardening experience, you can start small with a few herbs in pots and build up to a veggie patch. Bunnings has some great DIY gardening advice for both adults and children.
2. Camp in the backyard
One of our favourite family ‘staycations’ is camping in our yard. We have a fire, roast marshmallows and sleep in the tent (although I sometimes sneak back into my comfy bed!) The best part is that the kids love to play in the tent all day, so we get some peace and quiet inside the house.
3. Make the most of water play
Water play is a great way to keep kids busy and cool on sweltering summer days. Whether you turn on the sprinkler, bust out the Slip ‘n’ Side, fill some water balloons or set them loose in your pool, you won’t hear the dreaded “I’m bored!” for at least an hour. Bonus: they’ll be all tuckered out and go straight to sleep that night.
4. Come and see us for school holiday care and casual days
Sometimes parents just need a break and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! Having some time away from your kids can help you reset and be a better parent. You may also need help if you’re working during school holidays.
That’s where we come in. Not only can you book casual days for your children who already attend our centres, we also have some opportunities available for school-aged children. Whether your child is already attending primary school or starting school in 2021, they’ll relish the opportunity to play with friends their age and forget all about their boredom thanks to the range of fun learning activities organised by our caring team. Find out more here.
5. Take a short trip
You don’t need to go away for a month or spend a lot of money to get those holiday feels. You could take a day trip to a nearby town or beach you’ve never visited. If you’re keen to get away for longer, camping and AirBnB can be inexpensive options.
We recently went away to a small country town and stayed in a modest hotel for two nights. The hotel had a postage stamp-sized pool, but our kids didn’t care. “This is the best trip EVER!” they screamed as they splashed around. It made us realise that we don’t need long plane rides and expensive hotels to have a good time. We just need each other.
6. Set up a stand
When I was growing up in Canada, I often sold lemonade to my thirsty neighbours on a hot summer day. I loved setting up my stand, chatting to my customers and calculating my profit at the end of the day. I didn’t even realise that I was sharpening my maths skills by counting out change and adding up all my sales.
With COVID-19 still limiting some of our interactions, your children could set up a flower stand. They could also run a car wash or a dog wash. They’ll have a great time and learn valuable business and money skills.