‘I’m bored.’ Two words known to strike terror into a parent’s mind, particularly in summer. There is no school to send the kids off to, and then there is no homework that they can be ordered to finish. So how to combat, ‘I’m bored’ without involving television or the computer? Here are six ideas to keep kids busy when they are bored.
1) GO TO A DIFFERENT TIME
This does not require Doctor Who’s TARDIS. Ask the kids to pick a year – maybe when Mom and Dad or the grandparents were the age the kids are now. Live a day in that year. What would they eat, drink, watch or listen to? Raid closets or even hit the thrift stores and find those awful suits from that year … every year had awful suits. For older kids, have them research online about that time period for things like popular music, TV shows and more.
2) LIVE IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY
Just think. A foreign vacation without uncomfortable airline seats or dodgy hotel food. Much the same as the first idea, have the kids pick a country they want to live in.
3) LEARN A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE
It is easy to see where this is going, isn’t it? The parent is teaching (and quite likely also learning) in the form of a game. Pick a language, any language that is not already part of the school curriculum. If there is more than one child, award prizes for whomever learns and uses, correctly, the most new words. Have the kids test the parents!
4) LET’S COOK
A more subversive activity. The response to, ‘I’m bored’ can be, ‘Would you like a snack?’ Who ever turns down snacks. But don’t let it just be chips. Have them use their imaginations, then let them assist in the preparation.
5) LET’S EXPLORE
Take a walk around the neighborhood. What are the names of the streets? Why are they named that (especially good if they are named for people or events)? What trees are there? Who has the best/worst kept garden? If the kids could choose another house, which would they choose?
6) LET’S THINK
Don’t call it that, or they’ll never want to play. The old game of 20 Questions is both easy and fun. Think of something, tell the kids if it is an animal, vegetable or mineral. They now have a maximum of 20 questions that can be answered Yes or No before they must make their guess.
Outside of a possible trip to the thrift store and maybe a few of the snack ingredients, none of these ideas need cost a penny, and they will all eat up hours of time with fun activities.
What things does your family do when the kids are bored?