Never Again Hear Your Kids Say During The Summer, "I’m Bored!"

Every parent (to include me) has heard their kids say – with the incredible freedom of summer all around – “I’m bored!” As a life and executive coach, I find that every summer I am asked by my clients who are parents to tell them what they should do to keep their kids active, engaged and not bored during the greatest three months of the year (for kids).

You know how it works. Your children are excited about the upcoming summer as the school year comes to a close. Then, for the first week or so they are all fired up and balls of energy. Then, they run out of energy and things to do. And you hear, “I’m bored,” and “What should I do?” Your summer has just turned ugly.

First of all, let me say that it is easy for kids to get bored during the summer because they have so much freedom. But childhood freedom often becomes the strongest of all chains; a slave master who uses mind-numbing boredom as punishment. My belief and study has shown that kids do not need unfettered freedom. Kids need structure in order to grow and feel fulfilled.

Here’s my simple 3-step process for eliminating your child’s boredom during the summer months.

Step 1

You should sit down with your kids before the school-is-out-for-the-summer season hits and write a list of their GOALS for the summer. Setting goals is the most important step you can take to keep your child from getting bored during the summer. Ask your kid these questions (and have them write down the answers):

– What new sports do you want to learn?

– What new challenges do you want to tackle?

– What new books do you want to read?

– What new sights do you want to see?

– What new skills do you want to learn?

– What area(s) do you want to improve in?

Step 2

Next – using the goals as your guide, you and your kid(s) should write out a week-by-week schedule of summer activities for them. (I actually recommend you have the entire summer scheduled out day-by-day, but let me allow you to ease into this.)

Step 3

Then, follow the schedule.

My kids have not uttered the phrase, “I’m bored,” since I began this approach to their summers. They are too busy, engaged and happy to be bored! And yours will be as well. And I know that your kids and mine will look back someday (as we parents do) and say how great this or that summer was because of what they did.

To help you get rolling, I am providing you (below) a list of 301 things that your kid can do during the summer. Many of these are low cost or no cost. This list makes sure that no kid need ever be bored.

The following list of 301 activities will help your kid, your family, and you take full advantage of the warm weather season and spark the creativity that makes summer the best time of the year! Your kid can look over the list and choose any activities they are interested in and get started. Some of my suggested activities require parental permission, but most are suitable for your kids to complete on their own.


1 Act in a play

2 Adopt a pet

3 Attend a concert

4 Bake cookies

5 Barbecue shrimp

6 Become a model

7 Become a photographer

8 Become an expert cupcake, cookie or brownie baker. Give them a funky name and sell them. That’s how Wally ‘Famous Amos’ got started

9 Become an expert on something. Choose a topic you interested in and study it a little everyday. By the end of the summer, you’ll be one of the leading experts

10 Blow up balloons and give them to your friends and family

11 Build a sandcastle

12 Build a tree house

13 Build an electric train model

14 Build your own plane from a kit

15 Buy a DVD projector and host a movie that you project on the side of your house at night

16 Call a president of a large company and interview him/her about what they do

17 Check out the stars with a telescope

18 Clean up a nature trail

19 Clean your room!

20 Climb a tree

21 Collect sea shells from the seashore

22 Cook something you’ve never cooked before

23 Cook your breakfast on an outdoor fire

24 Create a family photo album of summer activities

25 Create a terrarium

26 Create a treasure hunt

27 Create a web site

28 Create your own holiday – a Festivus-for-the-Rest-of-Us

29 Create your own science club with friends

30 Design a new clothing line

31 Determine 10 goals you have for your life.

32 Dig for fossils

33 Do 25 jumping jacks each day

34 Donate some of the toys and clothes you no longer use

35 Draw a self-portrait

36 E-mail a friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile.

37 Send your question about life success and life’s challenges to us.

38 Enter a chili cooking contest (or host your own)

39 Find a new favorite author or book

40 Find a pen-pal

41 Find the cheapest flight you can to a foreign country and go on a vacation

42 Fly a kite

43 Get a job as a lifeguard at the local pool

44 Get a job or an internship.

45 Get a ride on a paddle wheeler

46 Get a summer job with a friend

47 Get a temporary tattoo

48 Get in better shape! Exercise everyday

49 Get in touch with a cousin you’ve never met

50 Give your dog a bath.

51 Go backpacking

52 Go beachcombing for driftwood, shells and stones

53 Go birdwatching

54 Go boating

55 Go bowling

56 Go camping in a national park

57 Go camping in your backyard

58 Go camping on the beach

59 Go canoeing

60 Go deep sea diving

61 Go explore caves

62 Go fishing

63 Go for a hike

64 Go go-karting

65 Go hunting

66 Go on a boat ride

67 Go on a glass-bottom boat ride

68 Go on a hayride

69 Go on a long bike ride

70 Go on a rollercoaster ride

71 Go on a walk and take pictures of trees, flowers, dogs, etc.

72 Go out for lunch with one of your parents

73 Go outside and find 20 different kinds of flowers

74 Go paddle boating

75 Go parachuting

76 Go prospect for gold

77 Go river rafting

78 Go sailing

79 Go swimming

80 Go to a baseball game

81 Go to a camp

82 Go to a museum

83 Go to a national park

84 Go to a new restaurant

85 Go to a party

86 Go to a pre-season practice being held by your local pro team

87 Go to a science camp

88 Go to a Shakespeare festival

89 Go to a waterslide park

90 Go to an amusement park

91 Go to an antiques show

92 Go to an opera

93 Go to the fair

94 Go to the movies with friends

95 Go to the movies with your siblings.

96 Go to the playground and swing or play on the monkey bars

97 Go to the top of the tallest building in the nearest big city

98 Go to work with your parents and observe

99 Go vegetarian for a week

100 Go whale watching

101 Go window-shopping at the most expensive stores with a friend

102 Go without email for a day

103 Go without TV for a day

104 Hang a bird feeder

105 Have a bonfire and roast marshmallows

106 Have a bubblegum blowing contest

107 Have a ‘classic movie’ night with friends

108 Have a family game night

109 Have a paper airplane contest

110 Have a picnic

111 Have a sleepover with your best friends

112 Help an elderly person with house or yard work

113 Hike to a waterfall

114 Host a 24 hour soccer game for charity or just for fun

115 Host a 5k race to benefit charity

116 Host a dance and you be the DJ

117 Host a real clambake

118 Host a scavenger hunt in the neighborhood or with friends at a park

119 Host a water balloon fight

120 Host a yard sale

121 Increase your vocabulary. Learn 5 new words each day from the dictionary

122 Invent a new dance

123 Invent your own board game

124 Invite friends over and have a tea sandwich party

125 Keep a journal of what you do during the Summer

126 Learn a foreign language

127 Learn a martial art

128 Learn a new card game and play it a lot

129 Learn about fireworks

130 Learn CPR

131 Learn how to be a comedian

132 Learn how to make balloon animals

133 Learn how to make crafts

134 Learn how to make jewelry

135 Learn how to make sushi

136 Learn how to play chess

137 Learn how to play the conga drums

138 Learn how to play the guitar

139 Learn how to rappel down mountains

140 Learn how to refinish antique furniture

141 Learn how to sail

142 Learn how to sew

143 Learn how to sew or knit

144 Learn how to snorkel

145 Learn how to swim

146 Learn how to throw a boomerang

147 Learn or teach a new sport with someone

148 Learn origami

149 Learn some new outdoor games

150 Learn to how to paint

151 Learn to windsurf

152 Listen to a motivational audio program

153 Look for sand dollars and shells at a beach

154 Make a bird feeder

155 Make a collage from magazine photos and words

156 Make a delicious ice cream float

157 Make a fire plan for your home

158 Make a new kind of sandwich

159 Make a scrapbook of everything you do this summer

160 Make a scrapbook of your baby pictures.

161 Make a smoothie so tasty it makes your toes curl!

162 Make a time capsule and bury it in your backyard

163 Make an obstacle course in your back yard

164 Make dinner for your family

165 Make homemade fruit juice.

166 Make homemade ice cream

167 Make popsicles in your freezer.

168 Make purses and sell them

169 Make something from recyclables

170 Make the world’s best root beer float.

171 Open a savings account at your bank

172 Organize a bike safety clinic

173 Organize a scavenger hunt

174 Paint your family

175 Plan a trip to Disney World

176 Plan the vacation you want to take next summer.

177 Plant flowers in your yard.

178 Play a computer game

179 Play backgammon

180 Play badminton

181 Play croquet

182 Play crossword puzzles

183 Play in a summer sports league

184 Play monopoly

185 Play pool

186 Play pool volleyball

187 Play putt-putt golf

188 Play soccer

189 Play Twister

190 Play volleyball

191 Play Wii

192 Play with the family pet

193 Play with your siblings

194 Produce and direct your own movie

195 Put up a basketball hoop in your driveway

196 Read 25 (or 50 or more) books this Summer

197 Read a book about a famous super-achiever

198 Read a book based on a movie you have seen

199 Read a story to someone

200 Read the newspaper (your favorite parts) everyday

201 Recycle bottles and donate the money to a local charity

202 Re-decorate your room

203 Rent a bicycle-built-for-two and go for a ride with a friend or family member

204 Rent a houseboat

205 Research your family tree

206 Ride a mechanical bull

207 Ride a rollercoaster

208 Ride every ride at the carnival

209 Ride on a train

210 Roast marshmallows

211 Set up a lemonade stand

212 Share your favorite DVD with a friend

213 Shoot 100 free throws

214 Show off your green thumb! Buy some flower seeds and plant them in your own garden

215 Sign up at your local library for their summer great books reading program

216 Spend time with your grandparents

217 Start a babysitting business

218 Start a band

219 Start a blog

220 Start a business

221 Start a collection of something you find interesting

222 Start a diary and write in it everyday.

223 Start a dog pooper-scooper business

224 Start a dog-walking business

225 Start a grocery shopping business

226 Start a herb garden

227 Start a lawn care business

228 Start a magazine for kids your age

229 Start a snow-removal business. (Send out flyers now so everyone remembers when the winter season comes)

230 Start a tutoring business

231 Start a yard cleaning business

232 Start an errand running business

233 Start an internet based business

234 Start an investing club with your friends. Buy stock. Sell stock. Make money!

235 Start practicing to become an Olympic Athlete

236 Start saving for a trip to Europe (or Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, Japan,… ) next Summer

237 Start your own soccer camp

238 Stay at a Dude Ranch

239 Stay in a hostel

240 Stay up and watch the shows that air from midnight to 7am

241 Study a school subject during the Summer

242 Subscribe to a new magazine

243 Swim with dolphins

244 Swim with stingrays

245 Take a boat ride

246 Take a course on mountaineering

247 Take a dance class

248 Take a family vacations

249 Take a first aid class

250 Take a helicopter ride

251 Take a jeep tour in the wilds of Arizona or New Mexico

252 Take a math class

253 Take a ride on a dinner train

254 Take a singing class

255 Take a trip in an RV

256 Take a vacation on a cruise ship

257 Take a walk and listen to the sounds of nature

258 Take a yoga class

259 Take an orienteering class

260 Take flying lessons

261 Take Pictures of interesting buildings, homes, birds, trees, waterways, cars, roads…
262 Take up golfing

263 Take up trampoline jumping

264 Take your dog for a walk.

265 Take your dog to dog-obedience school

266 Tale a class on animation

267 Teach your grandparents to use email

268 Throw a cultural heritage party in your neighborhood

269 Tie-Dye a t-shirt

270 Track the moon phases

271 Train for running your first marathon

272 Try to break a Guinness Book of World Records record

273 Use a compass or GPS to map your neighborhood

274 Visit a farm

275 Visit a National Park

276 Visit a tourist spot near your city

277 Visit every professional baseball or football stadium in the country

278 Visit Mt. Rushmore

279 Visit the aquarium

280 Visit the desert

281 Visit the Grand Canyon

282 Visit the Great Wall of China

283 Visit the Rocky Mountains

284 Visit the zoo

285 Visit Washington, DC

286 Visit the U.S. service academies (West Point, Annapolis, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy… )

287 Volunteer at a local nursing home

288 Watch a cricket match

289 Watch a favorite TV show with your friends

290 Write a book

291 Write a comedy TV show

292 Write a fairy tale

293 Write a letter to your best friend

294 Write a letter to your grandparents telling them how much you love them

295 Write a list of the 10 most important questions you want to ask you grandparents. Then ask them the questions

296 Write a list of the 10 most important questions you want to ask you parents. Then ask them the questions

297 Write a play and get your friends to act it out

298 Write a poem

299 Write a song

300 Write a speech on something you find interesting

301 Write letters on airplane air-sickness bags and mail them to your friends

Summer Fun

My Goals Are…

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