Mommy on a Shoestring: Summer boredom busters for home and travel

Bust boredom anytime, anywhere with these crafty activities that are easy to make and fun to play.

Balloon Tennis

This game is perfect for the backyard, beach or your next family picnic.

You need:

Paper plates

Rulers (sturdy paint mixers work equally as well)

Balloon (inflated)

Duct tape

Volleyball net (optional)

Directions:

Use duct tape to attach one ruler to one paper plate. Repeat process until you have two “rackets.”

To Play: Players take turns hitting the balloon with their racket until someone misses a shot. The first player to 21 wins the game.

DIY Maze Games

Next time your children need some downtime, bring out your old CD’s and make these “a-maze-ing” games.

You need:

Empty CD jewel case

Straws

Small round beads

Strong adhesive (such as a hot glue gun or tacky glue)

Construction paper

Scissors

Directions:

Prepare the CD case by removing the middle insert (it typically holds the CD).

Cut construction paper to fit snugly inside CD case.

Cut straws into varied lengths.

Create a maze by gluing straws to the construction paper in a specific pattern. Set aside to dry.

Add small round beads to the maze, close cover and seal with clear packing tape.

Note: Removing the middle insert often leaves a small opening near the spine of the CD jewel case. Be sure to close off this opening by filling the space with extra straws or use larger beads.

Magnetic Puzzles

I can’t promise the “are we there yet?” whine will become a thing of the past, but this travel activity will help keep passengers occupied during long car trips and train rides.

You need:

Puzzle

Magnet Tape (you can also use flat promotional magnets and glue)

Directions:

Attach a magnet to the back of each puzzle piece, give your kids a metal cookie sheet and let the puzzle play begin.

I Spy a Cloud

This activity gives you permission to sit back and watch the clouds float by. It’s also a great way to learn with your children as you use the “cloud-spotter” to identify different types of clouds.

You need:

Print out of “cloud spotter” card (there are many versions on the web, but my favorite card was created by Stephanie at fullofgreatideas.blogspot.com. You can download it for free by following this link: bit.ly/1qyUzEJ

Cardstock

Popsicle sticks

Scissors

Tape or glue stick

Directions:

Print out cloud spotter card. Trim the edges and cut out the middle rectangle.

Trim a piece of cardstock so it matches the shape of the spotter. Don’t forget to cut out the middle rectangle.

Use tape or a glue stick to attach the printout to the heavy cardstock and add a Popsicle stick handle.

Now all you have to do is go outdoors and watch the clouds float by.

Happy summer!

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