Summer Vacation Boredom Busters

From outdoor movie nights to app-enabled scavenger hunts, find easy ways to keep the summer fun (and learning) going. By Angela Zimmerman
Topics: We Recommend
Summer Vacation Boredom Busters

Feel like you're running out of ideas to keep your kids entertained in the dog days of summer? Look no further. Dozens of cool, crafty, and creative ideas for kids of all ages are easy to download, stream, read, and share.

Outdoor movie night
Transform your backyard into a movie theater with a projector and a bed sheet, and pick a family fave streaming on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Create a cozy space to recline, pass the popcorn, and voilà: instant blockbuster with the fam.

Set your sights on stargazing
Point kids' eyes skyward for the extraordinary Perseid meteor shower, which happens between July 17 and August 24 and peaks on August 12. For nights leading up to and after it, download an astronomy app or two for constellation spotting year-round. 

Scavenger hunts
Kids love scavenger hunts, and there are plenty of ways to make them interactive (and even lesson-packed). Turn little adventure seekers into budding botanists using an app like Project Noah to identify plants, map a hunt at the local library to take a tour through kids' literature, or give geocaching a try to uncover secret treasures near and far.

Beachy book club
Find a fab page-turner to devour ocean-side (or poolside, or park-side, or couch-side) with your kid. Early readers will love exploring a read-aloud book with Mom and Dad, and older kids will enjoy diving deep into books that really resonate with them and discussing them with you

Hit the road
A road trip to somewhere spectacular guarantees to be an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Use National Geographic's National Parks app to plan which of America's must-see spots you can fit in, and read fun facts aloud en route. Don't leave home without a few essential travel apps and backseat babysitters (think audiobooks, puzzle games, and sing-along karaoke from movie hits like Frozen -- if you can stomach it).

Enroll in a virtual summer camp
From coding and cooking to gaming and summer reading, there are plenty of cool ways to keep little minds engaged throughout the hot days of summer … without even leaving the house.

Make a mark
Get a jump on those "What I did this summer" essays by encouraging kids to create digital mementos. Whether it's a scrapbook or a journal documenting their days, a work of visual or musical art, or a virtual world born of their very own code, our modern kids' guide to creativity will fuel endless hours of creative inspiration.

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About Angela Zimmerman

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As manager of editorial partnerships, Angela is responsible for packaging and distributing articles and reviews to Common Sense's many content partners, helping people far and wide access advice and information around... Read more

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Comments (4)

Adult written by jo s

you could build a movie theater, show movies 24/7. hire a full-time clown/circus. build a zoo in the back yard. create and change daily an obstacle course. fun house. back yard roller coaster. zip line. alpine slide.
Adult written by jo s

tell them to go outside and play. take their phone away. if they come back inside tell them to go back out. BORED IN SUMMER???????????????? NEVER HAPPENED WHEN I WAS YOUNG. REALLY THEY NEED HELP.
Adult written by Sol W.

Great list here. But for those families who can't send their kids to summer camp, there are definitely a number of indoor activities you can do as a family: Depending on parents' availability.
Teen, 13 years old written by Moonstar2024

Me and my parents are going on an RV trip in 2 weeks to Olympic National Park for the weekend. There won't be any wi-fi or cell signal so we will get to be screen free for 2 days. I can't wait to spend time with my family and experience nature, go hiking, roast s'mores, and play board games. Believe it or not, I like to go screen free every once in awhile, I think everyone should have a screen free RV trip too. I'm very excited for our RV trip.


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