Customizable Summer Program For Kids To Never Hear “I’m Bored” Again!

Make the Summer Activity Packet a part of your own summer program for kids to keep them busy and happy all summer!
Grab our tips for creating your own summer program for kids to keep everyone busy and happy all summer!
Grab our tips for creating your own summer program for kids to keep everyone busy and happy all summer!

Every parent dreads hearing their child say “I’m Bored”. Here is a summer program for the kids that I have developed to create a structure in my kids’ days and never hear those awful, fingernails-on-a-chalkboard words again!


Hearing the words “I’m Bored” during the summer makes me want to scream! Anyone else with me?


Seriously, when I was a kid, my mom sent me outside to play and practically wouldn’t let me come in until dinner time.


There wasn’t a lot of TV. We didn’t have the internet or devices or gaming systems. They didn’t exist, so they weren’t an option.


Instead, we played in the sunshine (admittedly, we didn’t wear sunscreen ) all day. We played in the dirt. We explored the woods and watched wildlife and built forts.


Honestly, parenting is different for us than it was for our parents when we were kids. Because of the way that a huge variety of devices, apps, and video games are so mainstream, we have to approach entertainment differently than our parents did.


Video games, TV and other types of screen time are easy. And addictive. If your kids are anything like mine, they would do them all day if I let them.


10 Things Your Kids REALLY Want to Do This Summer (But Can’t Tell You)

Kids may say that they just want to play video games all day (and they may actually do it if you let them). My boys (8, 10, & 12) would be glued to a screen ALL DAY if I let them.


Have you ever noticed that if you let your kids play video games for too long that they get crabby and difficult to deal with?


Kids need structure. They need to have limits and boundaries and rules.


Their job is to fight those things and test their limits, but our job as parents is to set them and enforce them so we can teach our children healthy habits to last a lifetime.


So after much experimenting over the years with my 3 boys, I have found that our days go much better when I create some sort of schedule for the day.


I’m not necessarily talking about planning, structured activities from dawn to dusk!


In fact, I think that kids need downtime and free play time and time to hang with their friends and time to be creative.


But there’s a difference between long days with no structure and more sibling squabbles and parents pulling out their hair…


…and days with a loose structure that provides some built-in activities that engage the kids both physically and mentally.


Use our simple tips to create an effective summer program for kids that will eliminate hearing "I'm Bored"!

Here are examples of what I do to create a structure for our long summer days

Have a (general) plan/routine for each day…

I teach group fitness classes at a local gym almost every morning, so the boys know they have to go to the gym with me most mornings.

They have tried fighting it from time to time, but I don’t give in. Not only do I need a small break from parenting, but I also need my own workout!

Throughout the summer I also have a few various activities planned for them (these are all during different weeks of the summer):

  • art camp (offered by our school’s art teacher)
  • Lacrosse camp (offered by our local rec center)
  • basketball camp (offered by our high school)
  • STEM camp (offered by our local library – just ONE of their FREE summer activity options!)
  • swim lessons for my youngest
  • I purchased a swim pass for our family that allows us unlimited use of the outdoor pools in our area

Have a List of Chores That the Boys do to Help the Family

We call them “jobs” instead of chores to take away the stigma of “chores” and instill the idea that everyone in the family has jobs to help the family keep running.
Some jobs that my boys do include:
  • Feeding/watering the dog
  • Picking up dog poop
  • Sweeping the floors
  • Mopping the floors
  • Vacuuming the floors
  • Dusting
  • Washing windows
  • Clearing the dinner table
  • Walking the dog
  • Mowing the yard
  • Taking out the trash

When they were smaller, we still did jobs…they were just more age appropriate. Things like:

  • Emptying small trash cans into the big trash can
  • Making their beds
  • Cleaning their rooms
  • Clean up the yard (so I could mow it)
  • Putting toys away

Preventing the “Summer Slide”

I make my boys do “summer learning“…basically summer workbooks to keep them learning and keep their brains active all summer.

There have been different types of books each year, but this year I’m doing subject-focused books instead of general grade-focused “everything” books.


I set a number of pages that they need to complete in each book each day, and they know they have to get those done, no other option.


Believe me, they have tried to argue their way out of it and negotiate their way down (from 2 pages) only to find me increasing how much they have to do!


STEM activities are another great way to engage your kids’ brains while making it super cool and fun to do it!


KiwiCo has GREAT STEM subscription boxes that you can get in different length subscription options. Get 30% off your first month of a subscription with code COUPON30!


AND get cash back from Ebates (now called Rakuten) in addition to your discount on your first order!


Get the Summer Activity Packet for Kids

Because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted in most summer workbooks, my friend Nicole Cline (Not Quite Supermom) and I created a Summer Activity Packet that incorporates learning into a huge variety of fun activities that will have your kids begging to do more!


I am NOT kidding! We have 7 kids between the two of us, and all our kids love doing these activity packet sheets!


Check out the packet and see for yourself how useful it is for keeping your kids happily occupied and their mental skills sharp!


Beat The Heat: Summer Activity Packet

Our collection of summer worksheets, the Beat The Heat Summer Activity Package is the perfect blend of summer learning and summer fun!

Exercise Does a Body Good

I have my boys do exercises: push ups, sit ups, squats, and pull-ups (3 sets of 20-30 each).


My oldest runs a 1.5-mile loop through the neighborhood (I don’t trust my other 2 to do that alone yet, although I might do it with them – even though I HATE running).


Not only does the exercise help reduce the squabbles and keep them busy, but it helps them get stronger which helps them with sports, etc.


Want to get stronger and healthier together? These 5 simple family activities will not only get the entire family in better shape but also create memories to last a lifetime!


When in Doubt, Go Hiking (or for a walk)

Some days I make them go hiking with me because I love it. I usually hear a good amount of complaining, but it’s worth it for me!


Get Fresh Air and Sunshine (and activity)

I make them play outside for a while (the time varies)…they can do baseball practice, basketball practice, lacrosse practice, water balloons, water guns, explore paths, play with friends, ride bikes, play with skateboards or scooters, etc


Really, only your imagination holds you back on ideas for things to do! Here are 144 Ideas to get you started:


Give Your Time To Help Others

My boys are now old enough that I am exploring ways to volunteer so they learn to help others. My husband and I both believe that being of service to people who need help is important for our kids to learn.


That’s not in place yet, but I’m working on it! I’ll update once we get this going (stay tuned)!


Provide some screentime alternatives that the kids will love

Need fun activity ideas? Check out these 144 ideas of fun things to do during summer vacation that kids will beg to do!


These podcasts are another great example of activities that will engage kids’ imaginations without screens.


Learning to Prioritize: Do the Required Things First; Then Have Fun

My boys have to do ALL these things, every day BEFORE they are even allowed to ask for screen time, and honestly, I try to push screen time to when I’m making dinner or later).


I even create a checklist to help them go through it so they don’t forget anything. This is one of those that I trust but verify…I don’t necessarily watch over every move they make while they are doing it, but I will verify it’s all done before I allow screen time.
Use our simple tips to create an effective summer program for kids that will eliminate hearing "I'm Bored"!

A Dose of Reality

Now, as I type this (and you read it), it sounds simple and fairly easy.


Trust, me, some days are pretty good and some days are miserable as the kids argue about doing what’s asked of them or try to negotiate something better in their favor.


They try to tell me how long it all takes to get this stuff done and how they don’t have time to have fun. I like to counter that with points of my own:
  • Most of those activities are already fun and they are having fun doing them
  • It takes a lot longer to do them (and eats up their free time) when they complain and argue
But even though it isn’t always easy, in the long run, I feel it’s completely worth it in order to teach my boys the values that I want to instill: work ethic, responsibility, ability to prioritize, healthy habits, service to others, etc.


Give In? I Don’t Think So!

Honestly, if my boys cause me a lot of grief about devices, instead of giving in, I go the opposite route and take them away altogether.


That tends to keep them more compliant and aware that I mean business. The more consistent you can be with that, the better – it works!


I have also found that the more active we are, the better. Especially with boys. They just need to burn that excess energy! Girls may be the same, but since I don’t have any, I honestly can’t speak to that!



Keeping kids busy during the summer keeps the entire family happy (and off screens – or at least limited screen time)! Use these ideas as summer activities to create your own summer program for your kids!

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