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Fun, Educational Summer Activities for Kids

Updated on July 16, 2011
A selection of books from the library
A selection of books from the library

Kids are always excited when school is out and summer's here. For a few days they keep themselves busy; sleeping later, playing with friends, watching tv, playing computer games amuse them for a while. Then comes the inescapable complaint all parents dread-- "I'm bored!"

Here are few suggestions to keep your kids busy and learning throughout the summer:

Check out your local library. Many libraries have special summer programs for children. Sometimes libraries bring in guest artists and writers to give presentations or offer special workshops. Your child could discover a new interest or hobby.

Visit local attractions. If you are lucky enough to live in or near a city, there are probably area attractions that are both educational and interesting. In the city where I live, for example, we have a train museum, a zoo, an art museum, a planetarium, a marine museum, and a historical mansion that is open for tours. And this is all within ten miles of my home. Check out what's in your area.

Create a family scrapbook. For a creative project, your child or children could develop a family scrapbook. Help your child gather pictures, drawings, certificates or other items of importance and organize them into a scrapbook. This could be very simple or elaborate, depending on the age of the child. A scrapbook is a way to encourage planning and creativity, and it's fun!

Encourage your child to volunteer. If your child is a bit older (probably at least 9 or 10), s/he he could volunteer at some organization in your area. Animal shelters sometimes allow children to come and walk animals or just pet animals to socialize them. Children can volunteer to read to people at the hospital or nursing home. Even walking around and collecting litter in parks or on the roadway provides a way for a child to volunteer. Volunteer experiences can often be both rewarding and educational for a child.

Out on a hike by a creek near our home.
Out on a hike by a creek near our home.

Go for a hike (or a bike hike, if you prefer). To make this an educational experience for your child, you can plan to stop along the trail and check out interesting insects, birds, and plants. If this seems like too much preparation, just take a digital camera along, and stop along the way and take interesting photos.

You can involve younger children by having them plan out a snack break or bag lunch. This is a way to start encouraging them to eat healthy.

So when a child complains about being bored, suggest activities that are not just fun, but educational too!


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    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Joy, I love the library, I wish I would have had the opportunity to go to the library programs when I was a kid. Children today certainly have a lot of options. Thanks for your comment. Julie

    • Joy M profile image

      Joy M 

      10 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      It's amazing how often people forget about their local libraries. When I was a kid our library had special summer time activities for the different age groups. I'm sure my mom loved it because it gave her a few hours to herself.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks for your comment glassvisage. Mom is right, and if you can get outside your home and volunteer, it can be a great experience. Thanks.


    • glassvisage profile image


      10 years ago from Northern California

      My mom would always have us volunteer... I think it's so important to get kids outside!

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      10 years ago from Duluth, MN


      Thanks for responding. Yes, summer can be very tough for moms. The laziness bugs me too!


    • KelleyMari profile image


      10 years ago from Ohio

      I am dreading that phrase "I'm bored" and the accompanying bickering, whining, and laziness....summer is tough for moms! Great ideas - thanks for sharing!

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      10 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Hey Wannabwestern!

      Sounds like a fun place to visit. Yes, many museums have fun areas designed just for younger kids, and it's good to expose kids to museums and the programs and activities they offer. Thanks, wannabwestern.

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      10 years ago from Iowa

      Hi Julie,

      When my daughter was younger we lived in Dallas and got a membership at the Children's Science Museum. They had a whole area for preschool-age children that was off limits to older kids, which included a giant sandbox and a separate water play room. We spent several hours a week there while we waited to pick up my husband from his job downtown. It was a very good investment for us!


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