Shannon's looking for ideas to beat the "Mom, I'm boooooooooored" blues this summer. Here's mine:
Send your children on a scavenger hunt. Depending on their ages it can either be around the house (great for a rainy day) or around the yard or neighborhood, just make sure your kids know exactly where they can and can't go. We don't want little Charlie trying to walk to the mall to buy his way to victory.
Give each child or group of children a list of items to find (or pictures if they can't read yet) and a bag to put them in. Set a time limit and send them off.
The lists can be straightforward or convoluted. One mom I know used to devise riddles - the kids had to solve the riddles to figure out what they were looking for (clever, but since I'm severely riddle-challenged I'd find that a punishment, so we skip that bit).
The first child/group back wins.
You can get creative with the prizes too. They can be traditional prizes or even things like the right to pick the entire dinner menu for the night - including dessert of course!