Have the sighs of boredom surfaced in your home yet? One way to nip it in the bud is by presenting each child with a list of chores to complete at the very mention of boredom. Works every time.

Another deterrent I use are surprise activities. Yes, it takes some thought, preparation and effort, but if you plan only one a week, it isn’t too overwhelming, even for the busiest mom!

It’s funny how even the simplest of activities can uplift a child’s spirit. The quality time they spend with you, while doing the activity, means so much to some children. The thought put into planning an activity speaks the world to children who love surprises. Whatever your child’s personality, setting time aside for a fun, surprising, craft, game or activity, at home, will speak volumes to them!

These activities have all been tried and approved in our home! Perfect for the upcoming summer days!

1 – Tie Dye

Break out the rubber bands, five gallon buckets and RIT dye and you are ready to go! The sky’s the limit with tie dye. From plain white tee shirts, to bags, hats, and socks, your child can create something practical that they can use for days to come. Personally, this is one of my favorites because the finished product is something they can use over and over again.

2 – Polymer Clay

A recent favorite in our house, polymer clay can produce some fun creations. My son wrapped a pen with a fun mix of colors and put it in our “clay only” toaster oven. The pen was able to withstand the heat and the polymer formed to the pen. Such a fun and easy craft! My daughter recently made rings, a picture frame and pendants. An awesome family activity. Why not start now creating polymer clay based Christmas gifts?

3 – Sand Art

We are old-fashioned around here and actually make our own “sand” by rubbing colored chalk over salt. This is half the fun of the craft and keeps kids entertained as they create their own colored “sand” to use. We then break out the funnels and old glass jelly jars and work on our masterpieces. I don’t recommend doing this with children under the age of five or the layers most likely mix into one big mess!

4 – Bottle Rockets

All you need is a two liter bottle, bike tire pump and some pvc pipe. Add as much or as little water as you want and see how high and far it will fly!

5 – Water Balloons

This is a no brainer. Kids LOVE water balloons. Whether you fill the balloons, place them in a bucket and let them go wild or you plan activities such as a balloon toss, your kids will thank you, or ask for more as mine do!

6 – Painted Flower Pots

Let your little artists go wild! My kids love when we bust out the paints but when I provide a new medium for them to paint on, they are doubly thrilled.

7 – Windchimes

These are a blast. Find a thick stick and attach pieces of string to it using eye hooks. We used slumped glass, but you could easily string several strands of glass beads and have an awesome sounding and eye pleasing piece of artwork!

8 – Indoor Pulley Systems

Yes, this happened. My son nonchalantly told me he was getting some pulleys from his toolbox to make a zipline for his stuffed animals. Shortly after, he and his brother had their animals flying through their room in buckets. I will add, this was not a planned surprise activity. They came up with this on their own, but if you surprised your kid with this, I am confident they will thank you!

9 – Backyard Tenting

Whether you are campers or not, tenting in your backyard is an awesome family experience that takes little prep work (compared to traveling to an actual campground) yet produces big smiles. Don’t forget the fixings for s’mores!

10 – Wooden Model Kit

There is a certain connection that happens when a parent and child work on a model ship or boat or other craft together. The finished product produces pride and fond memories are created!