10 Ideas For Beating The Midsummer Blues

I’ve noticed over the last couple weeks that every time I ask a fellow parent how the summer is going, I get pretty much the same response.

“Well…you know…it’s…ok…?” they answer, usually with a long sigh and a weary smile.

Most kids in the area where we live are just about to hit the halfway mark of summer vacation. The novelty of lazy (or lazy-ish) days is wearing off; the summertime activities we were so excited about have become routine; and it turns out there is such a thing as family time overload. Add in the fact that it’s stupid hot out, and we’re all left feeling a little grumpy and bored.

In an effort to help all those suffering from what I call “the midsummer blues” (myself included) I’ve put together a list of ideas that will hopefully offer a change of pace and shake things up a bit—in a good way of course.

1. Host a “Christmas in July” party. Crank up the AC and invite friends over to sing Christmas songs, get crafty (try this adorable DIY snow globe), and snuggle up on the couch for a viewing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

2. Have your kids write letters to their teachers from the previous school year. Encourage them to share their favorite memories from the time they spent with those teachers and their hopes for the coming year.

3. Set up an ice cream sundae bar for dinner. One evening of indulgence isn’t going to kill them (or you).

4. Visit a new-to-you library or bookstore. You might be surprised how a change in scenery can rekindle a kid’s interest in filling up that summer reading log.

5. Create a paper chain countdown. For anything: your big family vacation, an anniversary, a birthday, the first day of school—whatever you’ve got coming up that’s worth celebrating. Long stretches of time seem a little less daunting if you’ve got visual representations of them.

6. Try the exploding watermelon experiment. All you need is one watermelon and lots and lots of rubber bands…and access to running water because this one is going to get messy.


7. Host a family “camp-in.” Set up the tent in the living room, make indoor s’mores, and bring out the flashlights for a good ghost storytelling session. Added bonus: no mosquitoes.

8. Go on an alphabet scavenger hunt. Give each kid a small notebook with one letter of the alphabet written at the top each page (a page for A, a page for B, and so on). Take a drive or walk around town and encourage them to find items to list on each page. Make it a long-term effort by storing the notebooks in the car and having your kids add to them each time you hit the road. See who finishes the summer with the most items listed in his or her notebook.

9. Make Oobleck. Mix together one cup of water with two cups of cornstarch and a few drops of food coloring and let the fun begin! Once you get everyone cleaned up, finish things out with a reading of Dr. Seuss’s Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

10. Organize a kid swap. Why is it that parents tend to be more patient with kids that aren’t their own? And why do kids always seem to behave better for other adults? I don’t know why these things are true, but I encourage us all to take advantage of the fact that they are. Get in touch with another parent and arrange a time for your kids to switch places for the day. Giving you and your kids a chance to miss each other can do everyone a whole lot of good.

How are you and your kids beating the midsummer blues? Please leave your ideas in the comments!

(Image by regan76.)

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