This summer I'm implementing a plan I learned at a workshop at the Hearts at Home national moms' conference this year. It's called the "Super Summer Challenge" and the idea comes from Linda Wicks and what she learned from Sanity in the Summertime by Linda Dillow & Claudia Arp. Here's how it is working for our family:
Each child has a list of challenges related to things we would like to see them work on. For LMH it includes practicing flute for 20 minutes, moving up to the next swim level, celebrating someone else's success, journaling about her daily bible reading, making dessert and writing a letter. These and other challenges fall under one of four categories: Physical, Mental, Spiritual, and Caring/Sharing. Each challenge earns points (more for tougher, less for easier/favorite items).
My kids each need to earn a certain amount for us to take a weekly fun outing. And for every 20 points they earn they get a dollar. Then we have a long-term goal of a certain number of points for the summer after which we will take a big outing (American Girl Place, where we'll do something extra special like get photos done in the studio or eat lunch/tea in the Cafe).
The point is to get our kids trying new things and improving at old things. And the benefit is any time they need something to do they simply refer to the Challenge Chart. No more saying, "Mom, I'm Bored".
Need more boredom busters? Check out the links on Rocks in My Dryer's Works For Me "Mom, I'm Bored" Edition.