Gwinnett County Public School students have been on summer break for weeks, and some parents may already be hearing the dreaded cry “I’m BORED!” In addition to marking our nation’s independence, July represents National Anti-Boredom Month! To help our neighbors keep their kiddos engaged throughout the remainder of the school break, your friends at Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful have pulled together a list of 8 great eco-friendly ways to beat summertime boredom close to home…
- Explore Gwinnett County Parks
With more than three dozen parks from which to choose, our award-winning parks & recreation department makes the entire county a veritable playground! From aquatic centers to help the kids cool down to multi-use trails for biking, jogging and even horseback riding, you can challenge your family members to take their pick of parks nearby to find the family favorite. Explore our parks HERE: https://bit.ly/3QwhFOb. Bear in mind that many of our local cities and towns also offer their own municipal parks to add to the mix, many of which play host to awesome events.
- Visit a Local Farm
Gwinnett County boasts a number of local farms, some of which you can visit up close and in person – whether picking blueberries at DJ’s U-Pick Blueberry Farm in Lawrenceville or collect some eggs and enjoy one-on-one time with the donkeys, goats, chicken, sheep and ponies at Allegre Farm in Dacula. There are also a number of cities that host their own farmers markets so you can buy fresh fruit, veggies and more directly from a local farmer
- Go On a Picnic
Is there anything better than an impromptu picnic in the summertime? Now that you have a list of your favorite parks and some fresh produce from a local farm, it’s time to plan a menu and pack a picnic. This is a great opportunity to talk about the alternatives to plastic utensils and paper plates while challenging yourselves to make a picnic that’s zero waste! Be sure to pack some fun activities and games to turn your meal into more of a memorable event.
- Tackle a Great American Cleanup Project
We’ve had entire families and neighborhoods volunteer together for Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful programs like Adopt-A-Road and Great American Cleanup. The latter marks the nation’s largest community improvement program, and Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful strives to make it easy for you to join the movement. Take your pick of projects like the Litter League, Groom and Bloom, Dial-A-Dumpster or Students Serving Seniors, then submit your project synopsis and photos for a chance to be named a “Community Crusader!”
- Plan a Campout in the Backyard
If you’ve never camped out as a family, the best place to start is in your backyard! Pitch a tent, build a campfire (preferably in your firepit), make dinner over the campfire, roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories. If everyone survives the night without going inside, you might be ready to graduate to a REAL camping trip in the Great Outdoors.
- Go Stargazing
Start by studying the constellations with the kids, then see if you can find them in the sky on a clear night. A great place to start your studies is at a Gwinnett County Public Library where you can not only find the names, shapes and placements of the constellations, but also the mythology behind each one! For a full list of Gwinnett County Public Libraries, visit: https://bit.ly/3HXmX1B
- Plant a Pollinator or Vegetable Garden
Pollinators – like bees and butterflies – play an integral role in our ecosystem. To attract them to your yard, consider planting a pollinator garden filled with milkweed, calendula, marigolds, salvia, lavender, verbena and more. Or talk to your kids about sustainability and build a raised vegetable garden where they can grow their favorites. This will be particularly powerful if you combine it with a visit to a local farm and/or farmers’ market.
- Get Crafty by Upcycling Items from Around the House
The internet is filled to overflowing with excellent DIY craft sites where you can come up with some creative craft projects to tackle as a family. Instead of hitting the store for supplies, see what you can find around your home to “upcycle” and reimagine as something new, like a decorated tin can planter or a milk jug bird feeder. Here is one article from Spruce Crafts that we love: https://bit.ly/3lDRCpc.
By spending time with your kids in the Great Outdoors and discovering a variety of activities together, you could be fostering a love of nature in their young minds. That’s a powerful thing and a great way to foster the next generation of environmental stewards! If you have an older child – particularly one who is in high school – encourage them to apply for Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s Green Youth Advisory Council. Applications for the 2022-2023 school year will be accepted through August 28: https://bit.ly/3NuU39T. For more great tips, be sure to check our blog at www.GwinnettCB.org often and subscribe to our newsletter on our home page!