Everybody loves summer"until the boredom sets in. And then the complaining comes at full force.

Nip the boredom in the bud before your summer takes a swing for the worse. Here are a few simple ideas of what you can do to enjoy this summer with your little ones.

1. Ice cube Olympics

When the weather's hot, take a bunch of ice cubes outside and see if you can answer these questions: Who can get their ice cube to melt the fastest on the pavement? Who can get it to melt the fastest on their body? Who can stand in a tub of ice the longest? Who can slide an ice cube the farthest?

2. Fun with watermelon

This activity may get a little sticky. When everyone has a slice of watermelon, see who can spit a seed the farthest. See who can spit the most accurately. Try and squeeze as many pieces into your mouth as you can. Just make sure your kids don't think they can start spitting watermelon seeds inside your house.

3. Sleeping bag races

Some days the kids just want to play inside. A nice race down the stairs can pass for a fun indoor afternoon activity. Grab a nice, slippery sleeping bag and pile up a bunch of pillows at the bottom of the stairs so nobody gets hurt. Racing may be dangerous, so go one at a time and use a stopwatch to see who the fastest slider is.

4. Backyard campout

Invite all the neighborhood kids over; the more the merrier. Tent, no tent, campfire or flashlights - it doesn't matter. What's most important is that for one night, imagination can transform your backyard into something else. Invite them to spend the night or send them all home to sleep in their own beds.

5. Make play dough

Anybody can go to the store and buy play dough, but it's more fun when a little mess is involved. Go ahead and make a mess in your kitchen. Your kids will love it. Let them pour the ingredients into the pot, stir the mixture, and then mold something on the kitchen table.

6. Summer reading program

Public libraries always have a summer reading program for little kids. These programs have fun ways for kids to track their progress and incentives for kids to read more. Don't have a library nearby? Create your own reading program and have your kids share what they learn.

7. Lip sync video

As long as everyone gets to dance to his or her favorite song and be the star of his or her own video, everyone has fun. Low quality on your phone or high-quality effects added afterwards on your computer can add to the experience. This activity can be done in one evening or throughout an entire week, depending on how much you want to rehearse the routine you want to do for the video. Mix it up by adding a cool pair of sunglasses for each of your stars. They may want to make a new movie everyday!

8. Nature scavenger hunt

Who can find two different kinds of seeds, a stick, something fuzzy, four pieces of litter, something shaped like an animal, something green - you get the idea. Be as creative as you want to be with your list. Don't forget the prizes for the winners.

9. Sprinkler volleyball

For this activity, you need to prepare a homemade sprinkler. Drill as many holes as you want into a PVC pipe so that when it's connected to your hose it creates a wall of water for the kiddos to use as a "net" and play volleyball over it.

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