Summer Boredom Busters for Kids to Save Your Sanity

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For children, summer is a time of play, relaxation…and boredom. Yes, those first few days of freedom from school taste delicious but before long parents begin to hear the wails of, “I’m bored!” and “There’s nothing to do!” Check out these ten fun activities to do in your backyard to beat summer boredom so you and your family can make the most of the season.

Summer sprinkler fun ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Summer sprinkler fun (Photo credit: Halfpoint, purchased from

This story is brought to you in partnership with Blue Lizard Sunscreen.

1. Tiptoe through the sprinklers.

Even if you have access to a swimming pool or nearby beach, there is something so deliciously sweet and summery about running through a garden sprinkler to cool off on a hot day. If you have a big backyard, break out the Slip N Slide for even more fun!

Alphabet soup water activity ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Alphabet soup water activity (Photo credit: Jennifer Borget, Baby Making Machine)

2. Make alphabet soup.

Young children will love learning their ABC’s while making water play alphabet soup. Purchase some foam letters and dump them into a big bucket or tub. Then add water and let the kids splash and spell.

Squirt gun art ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Squirt gun art (Photo credit: Melissa Lenning, Fireflies and Mudpies)

3. Paint with squirt guns.

Painting with squirt guns is a lively and crafty summer boredom buster. Fill water guns with liquid watercolors and encourage your little artists to get creative. Set up easels and paper for their creations.

Bobbing for apples in summer ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Bobbing for apples isn’t just for Halloween! (Photo credit: Aoi_Rasen, purchased from

4. Go bobbing for apples or other fruits.

Bobbing for apples isn’t just for Halloween! Use this old school game as a way to cool down from high temps. For a summery twist, bob for pineapple spears or strawberries instead.

Fill your play pool with plastic balls to make your own ball pit ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Fill your play pool with plastic balls to make your own ball pit (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

5. Have a ball in the play pool.

You don’t need a big in-ground swimming pool to have a splashing good time this summer. Play pools come in all sorts of sizes to meet your family’s needs. Choose from a wee splash pool for babies, to a big ol’ inflatable pool to fill up with your garden hose. Be sure to use a waterproof sunblock, like one by Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen and reapply between dips. For a drier activity on chillier summer days, fill your pool with plastic balls instead and make your very own ball pit.

Bubble play keeps summer boredom at bay ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Bubble play keeps summer boredom at bay (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

6. Make bubbles.

What kid doesn’t like the magic of making bubbles?! A variety of bubble blowers and wands add to the fun. For the ultimate bubbly play summer boredom buster, fill a plastic wading pool with bubble solution and make gigantic bubbles using a hula hoop.

Water play tables are especially fun for toddlers and preschoolers ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Water play tables are especially enjoyable for toddlers and preschoolers (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

7. Buy a water play table.

Water play tables are are sure to wash away any summer boredom for the toddler and preschooler set. This sensory experience encourages little ones to learn through touch and play. I especially like this water play table by Step 2.

Kids love playing with shaving cream ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Kids love playing with shaving cream (Photo credit: mdmilliman, purchased from

8. Get messy with shaving cream.

During a playdate at a neighbor’s house one summer, my friend’s mom busted out a few cans of shaving cream and encouraged us kids to spray and squish with this delightfully foamy stuff. It felt so exciting to play with this “grown-up” substance. You can also add food coloring and white school glue to shaving cream to make puffy paint for a unique craft project. For easy cleanup afterwards, jump to number 1 above.

Homemade frozen pops ~ 10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters

Homemade frozen pops (Photo credit: FUMCare,

9. Make your own frozen pops.

Keep kids hydrated while playing in the sun with some homemade frozen treats. Have children help you add fruit juice (and sliced fruits, if you wish) to a frozen pop mold and put them in the freezer to set. Soon you’ll have the taste of summer on a stick! For fancier flavors, check out this list of 33 frozen pop recipes.

10 Fun in the Sun Summer Boredom Busters + Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Giveaway

A sidewalk chart art show is sure to keep the kiddies content (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

10. Host a summer boredom busters sidewalk chalk art show.

Grab the sidewalk chalk and invite the neighborhood kids over for an impromptu art show. Announce each and every child a winner for various categories, like most original, most summery and so on. Keep the creativity going by calling out different themes for each round, such as: ocean, animals, and abstract design. Award the little artists with homemade frozen pops (above) or simple prizes purchased from dollar bins and stores.

Protect skin while having fun in the sun with Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

Protect skin in the sun with Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen (Photo credit: Blue Lizard)

Protect skin while having fun in the sun!

Before diving in to these fun in the sun summer boredom busters, be sure to keep your family safe from harmful UVA and UVB rays by generously applying sunblock to any exposed skin. Blue Lizard Sunscreen is dermatologist and pharmacist recommended. Although Blue Lizard is now made in the U.S., it was originally created in Australia, where sunscreen standards are the strictest in the world. Choose from Baby, Sport, Sensitive, Face and Regular in a variety of sizes. My favorite is Blue Lizard’s Sensitive sunscreen, which is paraben-free, chemical-free and fragrance-free. Buy yours now at Be sure to follow Blue Lizard on Facebook to stay up-to-date on discounts and giveaways.

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Giveaway

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Giveaway

Use the online form below to enter to win a gift bag of 5-ounce Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen, 5-ounce Face Blue Lizard Sunscreen, 5-ounce Blue Lizard Sport Sunscreen, two Baby Blue Lizard Sunscreen sachets and two Color-change UV-sensitive bracelets. (Total Retail Value: $57.) Giveaway open to U.S. residents who are age 18+ only. One winner will be selected at random and notified via email. Winner must reply to the email notification within 48 hours or the prize will be forfeited and another winner will be selected. See additional terms and conditions. This giveaway has concluded.

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Do you have any additional summer boredom busters to share? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: Thank you to Blue Lizard Australian sunscreen for sponsoring this summer boredom busters blog post. I received sample products and compensation related to this post. All opinions are mine, as always. Neither Travel Mamas nor Blue Lizard may be held liable for this giveaway. Product to be provided by the sponsor.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show,, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. Michelle J. says

    We love the pool or the beach in summer, so sunscreen is really important for us. 🙂

  2. Ann Fantom says

    We like to go on family bike rides

  3. Cynthia C says

    It’s fun to spend some time at the beach every summer.

  4. These are some great ideas. I especially like the balls in the pool!

  5. Katherine Riley says

    We like to go to the local water park.

  6. Beth Patterson says

    These are wonderful ideas! We have a pool, so that is our go to for hot summer days.

  7. Ooty Tour Packages says

    Lovely ideas. Thanks.

  8. The best summer fun for us is a day at the beach.

  9. We love going to the lake.

  10. Family water fun and jumping on the tramp!

  11. We love to go to our swim and tennis club during the summer. They have lots of great social activities there and swimming lessons for the kids.

  12. a staycation at a local resort with a fancy pool!

  13. We love to go to the beach at the lake!

  14. Cacinda Maloney says

    Living in AZ, I sure could use some sunscreen!

  15. Tricia Andrews says

    We love going to the local minor league baseball games to see the Durham Bulls! The he sun just beats down on you though for day games.

  16. Tracie Cooper says

    We love to go to the local water parks!

  17. We like to go swimming, hiking or go to the local park.

  18. We like to spend the day at the beach,

  19. We love having BBQs around the pool in the summer!

  20. Tabathia B says

    we love to go to the beach or jump in the pool

  21. Ashley C says

    We like to spend lots of time at the pool!

  22. We like to go to the beach.

  23. We like to swim

  24. Cheryl b says

    We enjoy the pool and beach.

  25. Cindy A. says

    We love the beach and outdoor festivals.

  26. katherine says

    Going for bike rides

  27. Surbhi K. says

    Playing in our backyard and having picnic lunches 🙂

  28. We like to visit our local swimming pool.

  29. We like to go to the ocean and go snorkeling

  30. Maria C. says

    We love swimming at the pool & on the beach

  31. We love hiking and swimming!
    Thank You for the chance

  32. fcollected says

    Our pediatrician reommended Blue Lizard 6 years ago; and promised our kids would never get burnt while spending the whole day (our favorite summer activity) at the pool!

  33. Paige Conner Totaro says

    I am totally going to paint with waterguns with my niece and nephews this summer! And my teens, if they’ll join us. 🙂

  34. Stephanie Larison says

    Spending the whole day at the zoo with the family.

  35. Cassandra Eastman says

    Our favorite way to have fun in the sun is spend the day at the riving canoeing, stop for frequent swimming and have a afternoon picnic!

  36. Brandy D says

    We love watching our kids play soccer or flag football!

  37. Jaime Cummings says

    We love building sandcastles at the beach, have a barbecue and go kayaking or canoeing.

  38. We love going to the beach during the summer .

  39. making homemmade slip’n’slides in the yard

  40. Carolyn Daley says

    We like to swim, BBQ, and take walks on the beach.

  41. Laurie Emerson says

    We like to go to the pool or beach and also take long family bike rides in the evenings.

  42. Lyla G - Globetrotting Mommy says

    I love the squirt painting idea! So fun.

  43. Sun safety is always top of mind in summer. Cue the sun shirts and sunscreen!

  44. The sidewalk art has been a life saver on summer days for me. We’ve done giant hopscotch boards, hangman etc in addition to art. Then a bucket of water to wash it all away. perfect!

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