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Keeping Young Boys Occupied While out in Public

Updated on January 15, 2016

Busy Young Boys-

Let's face it. Moms and dads, grandparents, whoever you are that takes care of young boys, you have your hands full! You seem to be alright, for the most part, when you're just home and in your own environment, but when you have to go out in public, and you can't seem to find a babysitter, the beads of sweat start forming on your upper lip. You know what you're facing, before you even get in the car. Life with young boys isn't easy. They are so sweet and loving, but so busy. You know they're going to say things that you've told them time and time again not to- poop, fart, burp, just to name a few. Boys have the craziest ideas, sometimes! For example: Let's jump off the moving grocery cart and see if we can land on our feet!

They bring with them an air of unpredictable notions!

Nine Sanity-Saving Ideas:

Here are nine sanity-saving ideas to keep your boys occupied for a while:

  1. Before you even exit your car, you need to have a pep talk with your boys. Make sure they know every single rule before you leave. This way, they know what's expected of them and there's no question in their minds. They need to know your expectations beforehand. Don't think that after just one or two times of saying this to them that it's going to stick. It won't. You will need to do this with them every single time before you exit the car. There will be a certain age that you will know they don't need this anymore, but until then, make sure you keep the list going!
  2. When you're running errands, such as grocery shopping, have them find different colored items, while going down the aisles. Each aisle needs a different color to look for. Boys need variety. For example: Down this aisle, we're going to find the color red. Have them find every item they can that has the color red on it. This will keep their mind occupied on this one thing. Boys love to compete! Use this as a competition with them.
  3. Have them pick out what they want for lunches that week. Do you want peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or ham and cheese? You could even incorporate dinner into that- Do you want hamburgers and french fries for dinner tonight?
  4. Have them help you get items off the shelf that are safe and not hard to reach- you don't want to add stress to your shopping trip, so it's best not to knock a bunch of items onto the floor! If you have more than one boy with you, have them take turns doing this.
  5. If you're going to church, a school meeting, dinner, or something that is going to force them to sit for a little while, bring a notebook for each boy that they can doodle in. Make sure it's a notebook that has a lot of blank pages. Just bring one pencil or the same colored crayon for each child, so there's no bickering about one having something better than the other.
  6. Allow just one small toy that they love to play with. Make sure each boy knows whose toy is whose, and there is to be minimal sharing, so no one fights. If there's fighting, then everyone gets their own toys back.
  7. If you have a child old enough to read, have him bring his favorite book with him. Any other younger boys you may have can bring their favorite book to look at, as well, just know that those don't last very long.
  8. Make sure you have a reward system going on. Boys do much better with this than you would think. You just need to figure out what they absolutely love, and use that as a reward when they've behaved the way you want them to. Don't give in, if they haven't behaved appropriately. If you do, it's not going to work the way it needs to. Also, only use this system when you think it's needed. Don't use it for every day use, because then it will get old to them- they WILL get bored with it!
  9. Give them plenty of praise and encouragement. Sometimes, that's all they need. Just telling them what a great job they're doing and giving them a time frame of how much longer it will be, is a huge help for them. Keep in mind that they aren't always trying to be naughty. They're just really busy and have very active minds! It's key to keep encouraging them with a good tone. The second you start getting agitated with them, you've lost them.

Hopefully, this helps all of you busy moms and dads out there! Boys are so cute and sweet! I cannot say that enough, but if you want to keep your sanity, make sure you have this checklist handy, so you know how to keep their ACTIONS cute and sweet, as well!

© 2016 Alicia Bell


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    • Jamine profile image

      Alicia Bell 24 months ago from Farmington, Maine

      Sarah, the grocery lists are a wonderful idea!! Grocery shopping can be so crazy, if moms don't have some ideas up their sleeves to keep their boys/children minds busy... Good luck grocery shopping!!

    • profile image

      Sarah 24 months ago

      I find these tips very helpful as a mother of three boys as well! I have just started to give them grocery lists at the store, and we look forward to shopping now! I love your idea about the notebook and crayons, and I will definitely try that at our next event. Thanks for keeping life sane!

    • Jamine profile image

      Alicia Bell 24 months ago from Farmington, Maine

      Thanks, Laura! Keeps the fighting down just a tad ;)

    • profile image

      Laura 24 months ago

      I love the idea of one pencil or one crayon all the same color for each kid!