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Bust Your Preschoolers Summertime Boredom
Thank you to Emily with
Primrose Schools for sharing this article with us!
(Used with permission)
Bust Your Preschoolers Summertime Boredom
What could be worse than a rainy summer day, when your children are
cooped up inside and you have nothing planned? For parents, even sunny days
that seem filled with endless opportunities, still yield the inevitable “I’m
bored!” Undoubtedly, your children will utter those words at least once
during the upcoming summer months.
Studies show that without stimulation, children can lose up to 60 percent
of what they learned at their child care center or school. Primrose Schools,
a family of 200 accredited private preschools, suggests the key to
overcoming summertime boredom and the “brain drain” effect is to encourage
imaginative play and have a plan in place to keep children engaged during
the summer months.
“It’s important to keep children’s minds active during the summer, but it
doesn’t take an expensive activity or big vacation to capture their
attention,” said Dr. Mary Zurn, Vice President of Education for Primrose.
“After all, imagination is free.”
Summer is a great time to encourage children to let their imaginations
soar...Here are 10 ideas parents can use to keep young minds active during
the summer break:
- Beat the Boredom Jar: At the beginning of the summer,
sit down with your family and brainstorm a list of activities that can
be done alone or that you can enjoy doing together. Next, write
everyone’s ideas down on slips of paper and as a group decide which ones
should go in the jar. Anyone in the family can pull any idea out of the
jar to fight the summertime boredom blues.
- Stories Alive: It sounds too simple, but reading
is one of the most important ways to keep young minds engaged during the
summer. Make reading even more fun by finding ways to bring the stories
- Art Treasure Chest: You’ll need to gather basic
art supplies–child safe scissors, glue, markers, tape, and construction
paper. Put them in a special box along with empty oatmeal boxes and
paper towel rolls, colorful magazines, and bits of aluminum foil.
Occasionally add a special surprise like chalk, stickers, or stamp pads
so there’s always something new for the children to find.
- Family Performances: Break out old clothes or costumes
and encourage children to make up characters and create a play to act
out and let them be the directors, actors, and producers. They can also
make musical instruments out of pots/pans, wooden spoons, empty
canisters and have a parade; or everyone can play along to your family’s
- Fort Building: Children love to build all kinds of
structures--from small towns to large towers. Constructing forts or
tents is an activity that can keep children focused and problem solving
for hours. All the items you need can be found around the house–some
chairs, cushions, blankets.
- Cookbook Fun: Have you ever shared your favorite
cookbook with your children? Take it out and ask your children to choose
a recipe to try. Measuring can be a fun and easy way to keep math skills
- Summer Scrapbook: All you need for this project is a
spiral notebook. Encourage everyone in the family to draw pictures of
favorite activities and collect mementos from special events throughout
the summer. Children love to go back through scrapbooks and albums and
tell about what happened at each occasion.
- Listening Game: Lie down in the backyard, in the den or
at the park and listen. What do you hear? Do you hear what I hear? Can
you imitate the sound? This is similar to watching the clouds and naming
the shapes, and it encourages everyone to slow down and focus on
- Camping Out: Pretend to campout in the backyard. Plan a
meal, pack a backpack and set up a campsite. Pitch a tent and spend the
- Scavenger Hunt: Make a list or picture cards of common
household items and have your children find the items on the list.
Invite friends or neighbors to join in the fun to make it a competition.
“Keeping children engaged with open-ended activities that stretch their
imaginations during the summer months helps them develop their independence,
creativity, and thinking,” said Dr. Zurn. “We want to help parents keep the
“brain drain” at bay while their children play.”
When preparing for a brain-drain-free summer, remember to suggest or
provide age appropriate activities. Many times, children say they are bored
because the activity they were doing was either too simple or too advanced
to keep them occupied for long. Activities should be fun and challenge what
they know, but should keep in line with the interests and developmental
levels of your children.
So with these tips in mind, sit down with your family and make a plan for
an engaging, imaginative and fun summer.
Primrose Schools vision is to deliver the best and most trusted early
childhood education and child care services for families across America.