There’s nothing like a lazy summer afternoon… Lemonade and a good book on the front porch, playing in the sprinkler, riding bikes to the ice cream shop…

Okay, we don’t have a front porch.  And even if we did, 100+ degrees in the afternoon is way too hot to be reading on the porch or even playing in the sprinkler, and we live in a large metro area where it’s not safe for the boys to ride bikes anywhere other than around our neighborhood streets.

If you’re like us and need some productive ways to fill those summer afternoons, check out this HUGE list! Hopefully everyone can find an idea they like here!

Simple Boredom Busters for Kids

Outdoor Play:

  • Set up a toy wash in the yard and let the kids clean toys that have collected dust.  Our large trucks could stand a wash!  Also the plastic dinos and maybe even the Duplo Legos.
  • Freeze toys in water in a large plastic container, and then let the kids excavate the toys.
  • Wash the car.  You could even pull out the floor mats and scrub them down.  We wash ours with 2 gallons of warm water mixed with 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup vinegar.  Rinse with the hose, and then hang to dry.  Works pretty well!

water balloon launcher 1

  • Collect rocks.  If you live where it’s extremely hot, collect them in the early morning and then spend the afternoon sorting them, washing them, painting them, etc.

dino eggs pinnable

Make What You Have Fun Again:

  • Delve into the attic (or wherever you store stuff) and find things that haven’t seen the light of day in a while that might be interesting for your kids to look at – old photos, old yearbooks, a shell collection, etc.
  • Have your kids organize their dresser drawers, desk, closet, or toy boxes.  Half the fun is finding long forgotten items and playing with them!
  • Make a collage or scrap book out of extra photos.

Add Some Variety to Playdough Play:

 Simple Boredom Busters for Summer Afternoons

  • Make prints with sea shells.  Or make an ocean scene!  My son created this coral reef with play dough, shells, and Safari Toob animals.
  • Pretend to cook with play dough, plastic silverware, and plastic dishes.
  • Make prints with coins, forks, a hairbrush, a whisk, cookie cutters, Lego bricks, etc.
  • Make play dough creatures with googly eyes and pipe cleaner segments or plastic straw segments for legs.  The boys love making play dough bugs!

More Play Ideas:

 Simple Boredom Busters for Summer Afternoons

  • Build a tic-tac-toe game out of Legos.
  • Design your own board game on a poster board, and use little toys or Lego minifigures as game pieces.

For Older Kids:

summer boredom busters 2

  • Make a huge domino run.  We don’t own enough dominoes, but Aidan builds domino runs out of Keva planks. (There are tons of possibilities with Keva planks – a very open-ended toy! I’d recommend them for ages 8+ to follow the directions, and for ages 5+ to just use them as blocks.)
  • Check out the Lego Movie Maker App.  Aidan has used my iPhone to make stop motion movies with his Lego minifigures.  The app lets you choose (or upload) music to go with the movie and everything.  So much fun!
  • Make up flyers to let neighbors know that you would like to pet sit or do yardwork.  Deliver your flyers around the neighborhood.

Do an Art Project:

star wars lanterns 5

  • Recycle empty cans into a lantern.  We made our cans into Star Wars lanterns – these would be great for lighting up your back patio on a summer evening!

*Whew!*  I hope that even hard to please kids can find something to do from that list!  For more ideas, be sure to follow Frugal Fun for Boys on Facebook!


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  1. JJ Jun 17, 2014

    We made Slime/Flubber stuff the other day and really had fun. I'm thinking we might make playdough to make a scene like your son did next.

  2. Christina Jun 18, 2014

    This list is awesome! Thanks so much!

  3. Almost Unschoolers Jun 20, 2014

    I really like your big kid list!


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