Oh, we’ve all heard it. And sometimes, it’s best to ignore it. But this year is a little different, and our normal routines are gone. So a run-of-the-mill “I’m bored” could be a little more anxiety producing.
Fear not, parents. We have some suggestions. In fact, we have one for each day of the month of July, compiled by mom of three and writer Michon Zysman.
Check out our list here:
July 1: Make a meal for a friend in need and have your kids help deliver the finished product.
July 2: Make a playground date with friends. Don’t forget to bring lots of water, sunscreen and masks.
July 3: Go bowling, inside or outside.
Make these patriotic popsicles.
July 4: Line your walk with sparklers.
July 5: Go for a bike ride. Don’t forget your helmet!
July 6: Bake cookies together and take time to eat them with a glass of milk. Show your kids how to dunk.
July 7: Let your kids pick the meal for the evening, even if it’s a silly or crazy meal. Muffins for dinner? Ice cream sundaes? They’ll be delighted to be in charge.
July 8: Pack a picnic and eat outside — or inside on a blanket in front of a fan.
July 9: Create a “make your own taco” bar for dinner. Even the finickiest of eaters often like plain rice, tortillas with cheese, or simple nachos. Provide plenty of cut veggies, toppings and various textures (soft tacos, crispy tortilla chips) and let the kids create their own meal.
July 10: Remember Shrinky Dinks? The dollar section of large retailers like Target and Michael’s often sell inexpensive starter kids, and bulk sheet packs can be ordered online. This type of craft is appealing to kids of all ages. Pick a rainy day, put some Shrinky Dink plastic sheets, scissors, a hole punch and some colored pencils on the kitchen table and invite the kids to sit, craft and shrink.
What else is there to do?
July 12: Help your kids create a book. Younger kids who need help with dictating or writing can use the help of an older friend or sibling, and often enjoy creating illustrations to accompany their story. You’ll enjoy the process and will have a memento afterwards.
July 13: Take a nap with your kids.
July 14: Rice crispy treats are a great recipe to make with children. The recipe uses only a few ingredients, kids can make the entire recipe from start to finish with minimal help from a grown-up helper (hot butter needs a supervisor!), and most kids are thrilled with any recipe that uses marshmallows.
July 15: Turn off your alarm clock the night before and allow everyone to sleep in. Have an unscheduled day and just go with the flow.
July 16: The next time it rains, run outside and let everyone splash in puddles.
July 17: Watch a virtual story time, or check out the library’s virtual story times.
July 18: Plan a date with each of your children, alone. Go for a walk, get a treat or read a special book together. One-on-one time is invaluable.
July 19: Say “yes” today whenever possible. Kids want to run errands while wearing pajamas? They want cereal for dinner? They want to skip a bath tonight? Give yourself a pass!
July 20: Visit earthsky.org and make plans for a night of star gazing.
Let’s create something
July 22: Pick a book set, series or story collection and make time to read a story, chapter or fable every night. It’s an enjoyable way to teach your children patience, anticipation and character and plot development.
July 23: Take your kids grocery shopping and pick a fruit or vegetable that you or your child have never tried. Be adventurous!
July 24: Plan a day trip. Visit a friend, a neighboring town or a museum or landmark.
July 25: Teach your child a craft of their choosing – beading, knitting, origami, scrapbooking or collage-making.
July 26: Throw a dance party. Have your kids help make a playlist and dance like no one is watching.
July 27: Play cat’s cradle. Check out YouTube for various tutorials.
July 28: Make lemonade from scratch.
July 29: Open the windows and listen to the rain. If you have children who are nervous about storms, tell them about thunder and why it makes noise.
July 30: Homemade play dough is simple to make. Mix 1 ½ cups of flour, ½ cup of salt, 1 teaspoon of cooking oil and 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar together in a bowl. Have a grown-up helper take 1 cup of boiling water (and add a few drops of food coloring, if desired, to the hot water), then carefully pour the water into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir well. Let the play dough cool for a few minutes, and then roll the dough out on a flat surface.
July 31: Buy fresh flowers, some to share with a friend who could use some cheer, and some for your own kitchen table.