A friend recently posted on Facebook, “My kid needs a remedial summer class on: How to be Bored.”
She is so right. And so ahead of me. My kid still isn’t out of school, and I’m already dreading summer and the constant litany of “I’m so bored!”
As Husband pointed out, if I just let Boychild remain in his natural state, I’d have no problems. Boychild would retire to his playroom and plug into the Xbox and stay there.
All. Summer. Long.
As a mom easily swayed by public opinion, this simply won’t do. Boychild must leave the dark confines of his playroom occasionally and make forays outside.
But as soon as I take the screen away from him, the air will be filled with wails. “I don’t know what to do!”
I could hand him a dust rag every time he says that. And I may. But I’ll also take a page from another friend’s book. I’ll make a list, post it in the kitchen, and point to it when Boychild starts his whine.
I did this last summer, after snapping a phone pic of my friend’s list, and it was amazingly helpful. Some things required planning. For those, Boychild and I sat down Monday mornings and picked what we wanted to do later in the week. For others, Boychild was able to make plans by himself (hoorah!). We still had instances of massive boredom, but significantly fewer than the previous year.
In case you, too, dread summer with a fear just shy of a phobia, here’s my (local) list of things to do with your kids.
- Sammamish Farmers Market (Wednesdays 3:00 – 7:00 PM), Issaquah Farmers Market (Saturdays 9:00 – 2:00). Have the kids try new foods, watch the entertainment, purchase something with their own money.
- Summer Concerts in the Park. Each Thursday at 6:30 PM Pine Lake Park hosts family-friendly concerts.
- Boehm’s Candies Tour. For four bucks, learn the history of Boehm’s, watch candy being made, and get a few samples. Call ahead for reservations.
- Cougar Mountain Zoo. A bit pricey for its size ($11.50 for adults; $9 for kids), this tiny zoo overlooks Lake Washington and is close enough for a quick outing without the hassle of crossing the (new) toll bridge. It has a great central area of tables for picnicking.
- Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-In. Fast food at its greasiest and best. Crazy-busy décor wallpapers the walls of this 50’s-style diner.
- Watch goats at work. Apparently, the city of Sammamish will be using goats, sheep, and llamas this summer to chomp grass and weeds around various stormwater ponds rather than people and machines. Could be some good animal viewing.
- Paddle Boat, Kayak, Pedal Boat. Issaquah Paddle Sports rents them all at Lake Sammamish State Park.
- Birdwatching! Eastside Audubon Society offers monthly guided walks at Lake Sammamish State Park
Go to a park
Really. We have a zillion and one great parks in Sammamish and Issaquah. Make a list of them all and go to a new one each week. We love the spray park behind the Sammamish Library when it’s especially hot. Pine Lake Park is also great when it’s hot, especially when the lifeguards start up.
Go to a library
KCLS has a summer reading program each year. Read for twenty minutes each day during the summer and win a prize. KCLS has a zillion story times for kids of all ages, and, if it gets too hot this summer, the libraries all have AC and friendly librarians willing to help your little darlings find the perfect book.
Boychild loves to cook. Last summer we went berry picking and made freezer jam. This year, we’re tackling cakes. Husband has a team meeting every Monday. Boychild and I will make cupcakes, keep a few for the family, and deliver the rest for Husband’s meeting. Making cakes while keeping the calorie-count of the family down. PCC also offers kids cooking classes. Pies, homemade ice cream, brownies, smoothies, popsicles, decorating cookies (why wait till Christmas?) are all great ways to handle those rainy days of summer.
Get the kids in your neighborhood (or mommy group!) together for some old-fashioned games:
- Hold a lemonade stand
- Hold a toy swap or toy sale
- Water balloon/gun fight
- Chase down the ice cream truck
- Hide and seek
- Scavenger hunt
- Grab some chalk and draw an obstacle course on a quiet road for bikes
- Give the kids a camera and take a “photo-walk” around the neighborhood
- Plant a veggie garden
- Fly a kite
- Camp in the backyard
- S’mores Party! (over the grill or with one of those one-hour insta-logs)
Sometimes you need to get the troops moving.
- Ride bikes to the nearest ice cream or fro-yo shop
- Walk the East Lake Sammamish Trail
- Walk the Hazel Wolf trail
- Go geocaching; there are hundreds of caches all over the Sammamish-Issaquah area
Make a list
Sure, it seems kind of lame to make a list when the entire Internet is at your disposal, but by then, if you’re anything like me, you’re ready to tear your hair out and just don’t have two brain cells to rub together to come up with a decent search. I’ll be making my own list and posting it where Boychild can see it.
What did I miss? Add your favorite summer ideas in the comments section so I can update my list for Boychild. Summer all wrapped up!