- Family and Parenting
The Summertime Boredom Buster
Too often I have been the victim of 'lack of foresight'. I have discovered that things go so much better when I have a plan in place.
With this life lesson in mind, I developed a plan for the summer holidays. I created the "I'm Bored Bag".
This is a bag with creative ideas for the children to do when they come to me and tell me they are bored. I became frustrated with the days when children flop around telling me they are bored, but each suggestion is met with, "Nah, I don't want to do that." Then the child asks if they can make a second level in our garage to build a fort, or some other equally impossible activity, and they become irritated when I say, "No".
Out of these experiences, the "I'm Bored Bag" was created.
The success of the "I'm Bored Bag" depends upon two very important things.
1. The children must solemnly promise that they will do the activity that they pull from the bag. My children thought it was funny that they had to promise and I always made a big deal about the fact that they absolutely had to do whatever they pulled out. Sometimes they would decide to go and make their own activity because they were not 100% sure they wanted to have to do something they pulled. That is fine. One of the reasons they were likely to use the bag as a last resort, was because I also included a few jobs in the bag. I wanted to be sure that this idea bag would be used somewhat sparingly or else they would be bored of the "I'm Bored Bag" activities after a week or two.
2. The activities in the bag MUST be things that can be done with minimal parent involvement. Usually the children are bored because I am busy and unavailable to take them on an outing or do a complicated activity. Choose your activities carefully. Be sure the supplies needed are easy to assemble, likely to be available and the children are able to carry on with very little help from a parent.
The activities that you choose will depend upon your own children. You will need to plan according to their ages and interests.
A great place to begin, is with the toys and games you have in your house. Usually around the beginning of June I begin to look through the toy room, the game closet and the craft cupboard and I find things that haven't been played with or used for a while and I tuck them into my closet. Then that idea goes into the "I'm Bored Bag". We have a wooden train track that is hardly ever played with, but last year, it was one of the ideas for the bag and it was a big hit. They played for hours creating a town and train track. They liked the toy, but they had forgotten about it.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Look at the globe. Find 5 countries you never heard of and then find their flags in the atlas.
Colour a picture with pastels.
Play marbles on the garage floor. (I had introduced the game this spring.)
Look through the "Kids Can Cook" recipe books and choose a new meal idea for our family.
Make a kazoo.
Make a collage. (We have lots of old magazines for cutting and pasting activities)
Dust the upstairs - find the coins I will hide for you to find as you dust.
Use a sheet over the kitchen table to create a fort.
Windex the windows.
Play with playdough
Make chin faces.
Play with playdough
Practice shooting the crokinole buttons.
Use newspaper, construction paper and anything interesting to make a great hat.
Gather interesting items and make some crayon rubbings.
Make a domino trail. How big can you make it before it falls over?
Use the magnifying glass to look at bugs. Collect at least 5.
Brush the dog.
Play with the straw connector set.
Look for pretty stones.
Look at the family photo albums.
Lay in the grass and look at the clouds.
I'm sure that you will be able to come up with even more ideas for your children. Just remember, they must solemnly promise to do whatever they pick out of the bag and it must be something that requires little involvement on your part. With these two rules in mind, I'm sure your "I'm Bored Bag" will be a success and you will not be a victim of "lack of foresight". Let the boredom whining begin! We have a plan! We are ready! We will conquer the lazy, hazy days of summer when the children flop around declaring there is nothing to do!
Have fun. Enjoy the wonderful days of summer vacation.