"I'm Bored!" -those dreaded summer time words we hear when the routine of school time activities escapes us. Not only does it suck for tweens/teens to be seemingly lost in the void of nothingness- it's also annoying to hear. (This is when parents act like they love having their kids around 24/7 but they're really only one week out of school and wishing their kids would go back!) So what's the remedy for boredom while providing the ultimate reward? Well, it's the warm fuzzy feelings created by providing kindness in our community of course!
Here's 10 Kind Activities to Beat Summer Boredom!
Hit the Local Library
Most local libraries have a morning or afternoon summer reading program (or both). Often this involves Elementary school aged children coming in for a few hours to hear stories being read by the librarian or library volunteers. This is a perfect opportunity for your tweens and teens to volunteer their time, spend time in an educational setting, and get to know others in the community.
Walk the Highways
We all see the trash that lines our roadways and there are many "adopt a highway" type programs out there for teens and adults. While walking ditches or medians picking up trash doesn't sound like much fun at first glace it actually can be a good time. Not only is this an opportunity to give back to our communities, there's exercise involved with all the walking and you can partner up to have some long/meaningful conversations with those in your group!
Sling Some Grub
Depending on the size of your city there may be volunteer soup kitchens available to help feel the less fortunate. If you live in a small town the local food bank may be a good option as well. In both of these cases you'll be working directly with the public and responsible adults who coordinate these efforts daily. Learning customer service taught me all I needed to know about how to treat people and this is a great opportunity to learn.
Get Outdoorsy (that's a word right?)
If your child loves the outdoors, animals, or local, state, or national parts volunteering with the local DNR is a win! Most states allow for volunteers in their Department of Natural Resources during certain times of the year or for special events. Getting involved on a volunteer basis is a good chance at learning more about the job and making inroads to a potential career!
Love Them Furbabies
I love animals (especially cats) and any opportunity to be around animals is a plus for me. Most Animal Rescue Leagues are on a tight budget and volunteers are a must! Sure poop is gonna need scooped and kennels will need cleaned but there's lots of chances to cuddle those little furbabies too!
Get Outside & Get Some
Why not get outside and give a hand? Create a flyer stating that you'd like to volunteer your time & post it up or hand it out in the neighborhood. A lot of the local elderly may be unable to mow their yards, rake their leaves, or do general grounds maintenance. Your willingness to help out may take a large burden off their their mind.
Ma & Pa Need Love Too
Most Grandparents will jump at the chance to hang out with their Grand-babies so why not volunteer during your visits? There's always a lot to be done and just asking if you can lend a hand goes a long way...but actually doing it can be pretty awesome as well! Chances are good you'll learn a lot of important life lessons (and some secrets about your parents too) in the process.
Get with the Youngins
Summers are a bit hectic for day care providers as they generally have more kids under their supervision because school is out. This also means more stress for the providers as well. Many times an older child helping out is just what is needed to take a bit of the pressure off. If hangin' with youngins is your thing, this is a good gig! Please pay attention to laws and regulations on this one as occaisionally there are age restrictions even when assisting an adult day care provider.
Laugh, Cry, & Learn
It seems that, sadly, some elderly individuals who reside in assisted living or nursing homes get few visitors. One of the most rewarding things I have ever had the pleasure to do is to hang out with these people. It's amazing the knowledge they can drop on you in one visit while providing great conversation as well...and sometimes you get to play great board games too! I thought I was doing them a favor by sitting with them, which they said they enjoyed, but what I learned is that it was me who had the real honor of being there. I promise you'll laugh, cry, and learn a lot!
Good Times & Greenhouses
As a kid I remember a few of my friends helping out at the local greenhouse doing all kinds of things! Carrying bagged seed to the trucks of customers, loading/unloading truck deliveries of plants seasonal plants, picking vegetables, and learning how plant growth works was all part of a day work for them. If a future in horticulture or farming is somethin' you think you might enjoy there may be a chance you're able to get some early lessons in volunteering at your local greenhouse like my friends did!
All good options to dive in to so don't be shy, heck, try'em all if ya can! That way when next year comes around you'll know what to commit to all summer long!
If you're looking for an additional daily confidence booster check out Joshua Coburn's classic Inspiration on Demand for daily quotes to help you achieve a happy and successful life.