Parents envision children being full of energy and ideas, happily entertained by nature, bicycles and friends. Sometimes this happens. Other times you hear the dreaded words, “I’M BORED! There’s nothing to do.”
As adults, it’s not our responsibility to pave the road for our children. It is, however, a good idea to provide a decent road map – to provide incentive to get up off the couch and do something fun.
- Make your own CRAZY PUTTY. Mix equal parts white glue and liquid starch. Knead to desired consistency. The substance will stretch, snap and bounce!
- NAME that SMELL. Gather items that have identifiable odors. Blindfold the guesser(s). Ask them to name that smell. If they can’t remember the exact name, let them describe other revealing details; the color of the bottle, what meal the spice is used for, etc.
- MOW a MAZE. With a push lawnmower, mow a maze or a crazy path when the grass is fairly long. You could also use the path to play Red Light Green Light or Mother May I?
- BIGGER and BETTER. Divide into two teams. Give each team a small item: golf tee, paper clip, etc. Set a time limit. Send teams into the neighborhood to ask neighbors if they would give something “bigger and better” in exchange for the item. Keep trading up. The team that comes home with the biggest item wins.
- MYSTERY WALK. Put on comfortable walking shoes and start walking. Flip a coin at every intersection. Heads go right, tails go left. Draw a map of the adventure when you get back.
- FUN with a TAPE RECORDER. Children can record themselves telling or reading a story. You can type the words to their original stories on the computer. Leave space at the top of each page so kids can illustrate their epic.
- NEIGHBORHOOD CAR WASH. Hold a car wash for your neighbors. Ask the kid car washers to put on blindfolds. Line up a few cars but don’t let the washing begin until they guess whose car they are about to wash. Offer creative hints if necessary.
- PHOTO ALBUM CARTOON. Choose a small photo album. Go through loose family photos. Pick a theme, a few major characters and create a storybook. Create captions on a computer or find stickers to help make your pages look like a real cartoon. HINT: Stories don’t have to be true. Fiction is fun.
- JUMP ROPE SPLASH. Have children hold a full glass of water in a plastic tumbler while they jump rope. Make it a contest to see who can spill the least. Give out prizes.
- COMMERCIAL FUN. Ask children to design a product or service and then create a commercial to sell it on TV. Video the end result and post it on YouTube.
BONUS TIP: If you want to create some classic summertime memories, find a place where you can build a bonfire, roast a ton of marshmallows, look for meteors and lightening bugs, and tell stories around the campfire. Priceless!
What gets your kids motivated and off the couch when the boredom blues strike?
Jodie Randisi, a professional speaker with hands-on experience and a commitment to excellence in both business and in the education of our youth, received her degree in special education from Millersville University. She has been an educator for over 25 years and small business owner for 15 years. As a certified Family Manager™ coach, Jodie works alongside individuals and families to help them create a balanced lifestyle and the home of their dreams—happy, simplified, and organized. Her latest book, 201 Things to Do When Children Say I’M BORED! The Checklist and Journal for Busy Families, has earned her the title “The Boredom Eraser and Family Fun Expert.” For information about COWCATCHER Publications and Presentations and Jodie’s book, go to www.201thingstodo.com.