With two young children, I know the heat of summer can be a big downer. July is often one of the hottest months of the year, so it’s fitting that it’s National Anti-Boredom month. Except we often get a little stumped when it comes to thinking up indoor fun activities so we can stay cool in the air-conditioning. This year, I did some research and planned ahead to create a go-to list of activities that can be done either in our home or in an air-conditioned venue nearby. I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll avoid boredom this steamy summer, thanks to my advanced planning!

Here are some fun, unconventional activities for kids to do to honor National Anti-Boredom Month without being forced to fry like an egg on the asphalt!

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I know, I know, you probably already take your kids to the library and the museum and they’re already bored of the books and this season’s exhibits, right? Maybe not! I did some investigating at our local library and found that they have story-times every day for all different ages. In addition, they have computer classes and fun, enrichment activities for toddler through teenage years. If you haven’t already, ask a librarian for a calendar of events. You might even find a favorite author coming to town or a craft-making class that the whole family could enjoy.

Now, it’s true we’ve exhausted the large museum of nature and science that’s nearby, but by asking at the library (they know everything, don’t they?) I learned that my city has several smaller museums, some with free admission. One is historical and a little “old” for my children this year but there’s a doll museum and a “tiny town” with miniature trains and a little main street that’s just perfect for my kids to explore.

First of all, you must know that most home improvement stores allow you to walk your dog inside year-round. Give your local establishment a call before bringing your pooch in, safe from the summer heat, but this is true in most stores in most cities. Aside from the dogs, kids are always welcome. So much so that they often have monthly activities geared towards teaching your children some basic home improvement, crafting, or construction skills. They can learn to make birdhouses, mailboxes, or make a mosaic on a warm summer Saturday without you having to worry about planning ahead, buying supplies, or cleaning up after the fact.

For the summertime, many local theatres hold kids’ themed shows and events. A quick internet search should bring up touring Broadway shows (a hit for teens) in addition to those one-time-only Saturday afternoon singalongs for the little ones. Older children might also be able to participate in a summer production through small local theatres or churches, so don’t be afraid to ask around.

For those days when it’s even too hot to venture to the car, stock up on finger paints and water colors, large pieces of paper or cardboard, art supplies, and fun fruits and veggies. Arts and crafts are an old standby, of course, but have you thought about making smoothies as a family? Or maybe turning those smoothies into popsicles for later?

And don’t be afraid to get creative with whatever you have just lying around. Just last week, my daughter and I took a box from some disposable diapers and spent an afternoon cutting, gluing, taping, and coloring to create a little dollhouse. We spent no money and used up some old wrapping paper that may have otherwise been thrown away to make really fun “wallpaper” and very fancy carpet for her dolls to walk upon.

When all else fails, I always say, have a dance party. To fight boredom in our house, there’s nothing better than some fun music blasting from the stereo while we shake our groove thangs in the middle of the living room.

What are your solutions to boredom during the hot summer months?