I am waiting for scientists to link the summer heat to the "I'm bored" reflex in children. 

This phrase honks its way around my house like a big obnoxious bullhorn all summer long. While I am not against a healthy dose of boredom, I find that a little motivation goes a long way. With a little organziation, you can give your kids the framework for hours of fun. On the days when the schedule is bare, try creating a summer camp in your own backyard. 

Use these ideas to put together an DIY camp on fly. (If you are feeling especially brave, invite some other chidlren over to join in on the fun.) 

1. Make a Schedule

Block out time for lunch and a walkable outing, but allow the rest of the day to be organized by the kids. Post the schedule next to a clock so the kids can keep track of activites on their own.

For example:

9:00 - 11:30: Play
11:30 - 12:00: Lunch
12:00 - 12:30: Nature walk
12:30 - 2:00: Play
2:00 - 4:00: Pool

2. Create User-Friendly Stations

Designate an area for each activity. Encourage the kids to visit all the stations more than once. Ideas for activities can be as broad as your imagination, but some popular ones include: 

  • Rock painting
  • Bean bag toss
  • Craft table
  • Tug of war
  • Basketball shoot
  • Hula hoops
  • Hopscotch
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Water balloons

3. A Little Something Special

During one of the play times or in the evening, make something special together. It could be popsicles that you make in the morning and enjoy after dinner. Or it could be a white t-shirt that everyone decorates with fabric markers. Maybe you have the children create a collage from the items they collected on the nature hike. No matter what you choose, it's nice to have something to culminate the day. 

You don't have to spend hundred of dollars on expensive camps to make fabulous summer memories. Some of the best times take place in your own backyard