How to Beat Summer Boredom

Water Guns

Some moms look forward to summer vacation. They plan trips, activities, play dates and a daily schedule. They see summer as a time to relax and reconnect as a family. I am not one of those moms. As guilty as it makes me feel to write this out, I enjoy my childfree time during the school year. So when school gets out and summer vacation arrives, it kind of hits me like a ton of bricks.

Suddenly, summer is here and we have all sorts of free time on our hands. And that extra time seems to pass by sooooo slowly. Not only do our days tend to feel long, but I find that I get bored quite easily, let alone my 4-year-old and 2-year-old who have short attention spans. In fact, I was just about to drive myself nuts worrying about how we would make it through this summer when the internet stepped in to save me! I read a blog post that introduced me to Boredom Jars and Summer Bucket Lists. What are these magical things, you ask? Well, just head over to Pinterest and you’ll find out.

A Boredom Jar is a jar filled with popsicle sticks. Each popsicle stick has an activity written on it. When you’re bored, you simply pick a popsicle stick and do that activity, such as “Play with bubbles.” Pick an activity that doesn’t seem fun? No worries! Boredom Jars are a flexible solution, so you can just put your popsicle stick back in the jar and pick again. For our family, our Boredom Jar is filled with free activities that we can do, which is important to me because we live on a budget. A Summer Bucket List, however, is a list of paid destinations for us to try to visit before the next school year rolls around.

To help you get started on your own Boredom Jars and Summer Bucket Lists, here’s what’s included in mine for my 4-year-old and 2-year-old boys:

Summer Boredom Jar

  • Play a board game (I actually have multiple popsicle sticks for each of the age-appropriate board games we own)
  • Play in the backyard
  • Paint or color
  • Play with bubbles
  • Read a book
  • Practice sight words
  • Play with cars
  • Play with blocks
  • Play outer space with your imagination
  • Practice shapes, colors, numbers and letters flash cards
  • Build a blanket fort
  • Play in the kiddie pool
  • Play with water guns
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Go to the park
  • Go to the splash pad
  • Go to the library
  • Play with playdough
  • Set up your teepee
  • Do a workbook page
  • Play with your letter magnets
  • Play with you train set
  • Play airplane with your imagination
  • Play with Legos
  • Draw pictures

Summer Bucket List

  • Visit the Baton Rouge Zoo
  • Visit the New Orleans Zoo
  • Visit the Insectarium
  • Visit the Aquarium
  • Go swimming in a public pool
  • Go to Lil Bambinos
  • Go to Jump ‘n’ Jive
  • Go to Java Mama
  • Go to the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum
  • Visit the USS Kidd

So what’ll make it into your Boredom Jar and on your Summer Bucket List? I’d love to hear! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Karen is a California native who moved to Baton Rouge about three years ago for her husband's job. She loves Louisiana and the only thing she misses about living out west is In-N-Out burgers. Karen has two toddler boys and two teenaged stepsons. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Karen was a Senior Communications Manager for a software company. She earned her Bachelors degree from (don't hold it against her) the University of Southern California, where she graduated Cum Laude. In addition to spending time with her family, Karen enjoys writing, pretending she's good at making crafts and running.


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