July 16, 2016 WHAT SHOULD I DO ALL SUMMER? Hi, Brandon! I’ve just started summer break and I’m going to summer camp. But, it doesn’t start until later in the summer. I don’t want to stay home doing nothing because I’d be bored out of my skull! I want to do something fun. Do you any ideas for fun and exciting summer activities? Sincerely, Dana (Brutally Bored) Hi Dana! Great question! I think this is one SO many of us can relate to. We count down the days until summer, and then after a few days on the couch…we’re bored! But according to my grandma, bored is the same as lazy. Because there’s always SOMETHING to do. It just requires a little imagination. And sometimes, googling. Brainstorming’s always easier with someone else, so I called Nikki and we came up with a list of things you (or anyone) could do this summer. We tried to think of things you can do alone and things you can do with friends. Lots of our suggestions are free, and none of them cost a LOT of money. So, I hope something sounds interesting to you! LEARN SOMETHING: But school’s out, you whine. Give my brain a rest. Okay, okay! But you’re the one who said you were bored. And with the internet at your fingertips, there are SO MANY things you can learn, just from YouTube videos. Like how to do magic tricks, or how to cook, or code, or knit. Khan Academy is another great resource for learning ALL SORTS of things online, for free. GET SOCIAL: And not just with your regular group of friends. Organize a neighborhood block party! Pick a date and time, make up a flyer telling people what to bring for a pot-luck (like, if your last name starts with A-G bring drinks, H – M bring appetizers, N-R bring main dish, S- Z bring dessert). Find a few people to bring card tables for the food, and voila! Block party! GET YOUR HEAD IN A BOOK: Catch up on all the awesome reading you’re too busy to do during the school year. Read what YOU want to. Organize a book club with your friends to read the same book and talk about it. Go to the public library and check out their summer programming – often they have extra classes, concerts, and programs for kids and teens in the summer. BE A KID: I don’t know how old you are, but at a certain age, we stop doing things that seem too young. But a lot of those things are fun! Run through sprinklers! Have a water gun fight! Build sandcastles! Make s’mores! Draw with sidewalk chalk! Camp out in your backyard! Bake your favorite cupcakes! Blow bubbles in a public place! PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT: Get together a group of friends and have a photo scavenger hunt. You can google for a list of things to find, or make your own. Go to a mall or a park and break into teams. First team to take pictures of all the things on the list wins! REORGANIZE YOUR ROOM: I don’t mean CLEAN your room. That wouldn’t be fun! But what if you come up with a completely new arrangement for all your furniture. That can be kind of fun, and usually in the process you’ll find cool old stuff you’ve forgotten about. GROW SOMETHING: Summer is so great for gardens, and even if you live in an apartment, you can grow something. Grow stuff in pots on window ledges! Or volunteer in a community garden. Ask an elderly neighbor if they need help with their garden. BE A HELPER: Speaking of elderly neighbors, see if they need help with something you could do, like mowing the lawn or cleaning out the basement. It might not sound like a lot of fun, but you’ll feel great about helping someone. If you bring a couple friends and work together, I bet it WILL be fun, and the old person will get a kick out of having youngsters around. GET OUTSIDE: Ride bikes to parks you’ve never been to. Go to a minor league or Little League baseball game. Catch fireflies after dark. Go puddle jumping. But whatever you do, don’t sit around being bored. There are too many choices for that! So, what are you doing still looking at the internet? Get up and DO something!! How do the rest of you deal with boredom in the summer?