Parents envision children being full of energy and ideas, happily entertained by nature, bicycles and friends. Sometimes this happens and other times parents will hear the dreaded words, “I’M BORED! There’s nothing to do.” All the ideas from 201 Thing to Do When Children Say I’M BORED! The Checklist and Journal for Busy Families.
As adults, it is not our responsibility to pave the road for our children. It is, however, a good idea to provide a decent road map, and by decent road map I mean provide incentive (or inspiration) for getting off the couch and doing something fun!
Here are ten ideas that will make summer less “boring.”
1. Make your own CRAZY PUTTY. Mix equal parts white glue and liquid starch. Knead to desired consistency. The substance will stretch, snap and bounce!
2. 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 some other revealing details such as the color of the bottle, or what meal the spice is used for, etc.
3. MOW a MAZE. With a push lawn mower, mow a maze or a crazy path when the grass is fairly long. You could also use the path to play Mother May I? or Red Light Green Light.
4. BIGGER and BETTER. Divide into two teams. Give each team a small item such as a golf tee or paper clip. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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. Print the words with space at the top of each page so the children can illustrate their ideas.
7. NEIGHBORHOOD CAR WASH. Hold a carwash 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.
8. PHOTO ALBUM CARTOON. Choose a small photo album. Go through loose family photos. Pick a theme, a few major characters and create a storybook with captions. Create captions on a computer or find stickers that will help you make your pages look like a real cartoon. HINT: Stories don’t have to be true. Writing fiction is fun.
9. 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.
10. COMMERCIAL FUN. Ask children to design a product or service and then create a commercial to sell it on television. Go all the way and video the end result and post it on YouTube.
And 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!