If you have school-age kids, you know keeping them entertained over a long hot summer is difficult, on a good day. But when you have three boys, ages 11, 6 and 4, all of whom have ADHD, summer can be downright AWFUL! Camps can be expensive; sports take a lot of time and who wants their kids to sit in front of a TV or computer all day long? My husband and I want to provide fun, budget-friendly activities for them, but how? Below is a list of ideas and events we take advantage of, even if they only occur on weekends, because to a kid on summer break, every day is a Saturday.
- Many local libraries and bookstores offer free story times for kids.
- Home Improvement centers often provide free build days with kits for small items kids can build.
- Use your local $1 Store to stock up on things your kids like, such as books, balls, inexpensive toys, craft supplies, gardening items, etc. They have all kinds of indoor and outdoor games and toys for kids, including water toys and games.
- Think of your local thrift store as your own lending library for games, sports gear, puzzles, toys, craft supplies, and books. Buy them inexpensively and when your child tires of them, simply re-donate them and buy something different. We have stores with kids’ books for 25 cents each. Books for older kids may be $2-$3, but still don’t break the bank. (As a side note, we use this tip all year long, and for other things like clothing too!)
- Create a “laser” obstacle course in your home with crepe paper or painter’s tape. Tape the streamers to the doors and walls at various angles and levels and let the kids try to get through without breaking the streamers or pulling them off the walls. For more information, visit: http://whatmomslove.com/kids.
- If you’re a member of a local rec center, find out what summer activities they have to offer. Ours includes rock climbing, basketball, kids play time, and swimming, (all included in our monthly fee), in addition to various fun camps (most of which do incur a fee).
- Celebrate obscure but fun holidays with your kids. Timeanddate.com and many other websites keep a list odd holidays that you can enjoy! Did you know May 26th is Paper Airplane Day? Have your own paper airplane acrobatics show. Make several paper airplanes in different styles and see which ones fly farthest or straightest. June 14th is National Monkey Around Day. Visit the park and play on the monkey bars. June 29th is International Mud Day. Make mud pies and get messy. July 10th is Teddy Bear’s Picnic Day. Subscribing to the site is free and you’ll be able to download the monthly calendars. Ask the kids what they’d like to celebrate, and have them do the planning.
What are some other ideas you have for keeping your ADHD kids entertained over summer break? Feel free to comment. And don’t forget to follow/share us if you ever struggle with hyperactive kids!