Those long summer days are a blessing and a curse. You have more time to spend with your offspring, but you also have to listen to declarations of boredom more often than you'd like. While your kids probably spend plenty of time being active, they need a little down time, too. Planning a few entertaining and relaxing activities ahead of time will leave you prepared when your children complain that they can't find anything to do.
Find a shady spot, take a stack of books and a snack and settle down to enjoy a few good stories together. Gather your kids and lie on your backs. Watch the clouds shift and move, challenging each other to find images in the fluffy wisps. Look for an ant hill or a caterpillar. Settle down with your children and observe what the creatures do. You might even encourage them to make up stories about the bugs they're watching. A bucket of sidewalk chalk and a blank driveway will encourage creativity on lazy days, too. Let your kids stay to watch the sun go down and the stars come out once or twice each summer, as well.
Nothing says lazy summer days like sitting on a dock or creek bed hoping to catch a few fish. Collect some worms in your backyard and take your children to a fishing hole. Practice sitting quietly and calmly while you wait for a bite. If you find a shady spot to fish, your kids might even catch a quick snooze while they wait. Take a meandering nature hunt through your neighborhood, nearby park or nature preserve. Give your children each a bucket to collect a few of their favorite finds. A nice, slow walk around a lake is another relaxing way to spend a lazy summer afternoon.
Rainy days are an inevitable part of summer, and they practically beg for laziness. Skip the movies, computers and video games, though. Pull out art supplies such as paper, stickers, glue, magazines, crayons, sequins and pipe cleaners, and give your children free rein to create whatever they want. Have a coloring contest and award prizes for using the most colors or adding the best details. Give each child some kind of prize. Let your kids get out every toy they own. Encourage them to lie on the floor creating stories and adventures. Get down on the floor and play along. You'll get valuable time with your children, but you'll also get a glimpse into their world. Building a fort with bed sheets or baking a batch of cookies are additional activities that are both calm and enjoyable on rainy summer afternoons.
Away From Home
Head to the library and let your children choose a few books they would like you read to them. Snuggle up in a comfy chair and spend some time relaxing with entertaining stories. Strap your children into the car and take them on a scenic drive. Take a trip up the mountains or along the beach. Encourage your kids to point out interesting objects. Bring along a snack, such as popcorn, to make the drive more enjoyable.