5 Easy Things for Your Kids to Do So You Can Read Your Book

Kim Valzania
Summer is winding down. It’s starting to feel a bit “been there, done that,” and most of us are getting tired of playing with our kids. It’s exhausting. We don’t want to participate anymore. We just want to sit there, sip a drink, and watch. Yet, we still have quite a few beach days and lazy afternoons to get through before blessed, glorious school starts up again in the fall. If you’re bored, and your kids are bored too, here are 5 fantastic activities that cost little or no money so that you can relax and read a damn book while your kids happily play by themselves. 

5 Easy Things for Your Kids to Do So You Can Read Your Book


Go to the dollar store, your own backyard, or simply empty the penny jar. Spray paint a bunch of rocks, or little plastic toys, or pennies with either silver or gold metallic paint. Throw them in the lake, or the pool and let your kids dive for hours retrieving all of them. Know how many you have so the rule can be that they must get them all. REPEAT.


Buy a bag of marshmallows and a box of toothpicks. Let kids “construct” things out of them. Buildings, dog houses,whatever! HAZARD: your children will eat most of the marshmallows, so do have another bag on hand. This works with any sort of gummy candy. It’s a sugary day, but if it lets you just sit there and watch, so be it.


Forget plastic buckets and shovels. For the beach,pack some pots, pans, a bundt pan, a wooden spoon, measuring cups and spoons,cake pans, a muffin tin and any other crap.  Let your children set up a bakery or a restaurant with REAL cooking gear.  See how many powdered sugar cakes they can make. My favorite thing to say is, “I’ll need 5 double layer cakes and 450meatballs for a party – it might take all day, but I need them.” And then I sit back and let my kids go to town.


Collecting shells is boring. Bring a small bottle of glue (or 2or 3) and an assortment of glitter and maybe a package of eye balls. Let children sit in the sun and decorate the shells with glitter. And if you don’t have glitter, use plain old sand. The beauty of this little craft project is they can make millions of variations of shell creatures, and the glitter stays at the beach!


Suggest a swim routine/contest.  Tell them it needs to be LONG.  Tell them they can work on it throughout the day, and that the final performance will be scheduled for exactly a half hour before leaving. Tell them their reward for taking this activity seriously is a trip to the Fro-Yo stand on the way home.
Summer is fun, and it is fun to play with our kids. But, by mid-August, we’ve had enough and we just want to sit. We deserve to sit. Hopefully, some of these ideas will give you the hour or two of chill time you are craving.


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Here are 5 fantastic activities that cost little or no money so that you can relax and read a damn book while your kids happily play by themselves.
Kimberly Valzania practices mindful gratefulness. She is creatively driven to write about and share her personal experience and opinions on weight loss, fitness, life changes, adventures in parenting, day-to-day triumphs (and failures), and the truth-seeking struggle of simply being human. As words tumble out, they are sorted into cohesive piles and delivered via poetry and short essays. Her articles are featured on Rebelle Society, Scary Mommy, The Elephant Journal, BonBon Break, The Minds Journal, The Manifest-Station, and Imperfect Parent. Read more at her website eatpraypost.com.