I live in an area where it’s common for kids to live very scheduled lives. Most kids have 3-4 outside activities behind school so when people find out my kids aren’t in organized sports or outside activities beyond the things we do together as a family (and yearly swim lessons) they are shocked.
My kids must be deprived! I’m denying them a childhood!
Here’s the thing though. My best memories of childhood happened when I was free to explore and figure out what I was interested in. I needed time to do that. I needed to be given the chance to be bored.
I’ve been asked more than once, “Don’t your kids get bored”.
My answer to that is, yes. Yes, sometimes they do. And I’m okay with that.
Necessity may be the mother of invention but boredom is the mother of creativity.
My kids have come up with the most creative games and activities when they have been bored. They’ve played with younger siblings and strengthened bonds. They’ve read books that they’ve already read and played games that they’ve already played. They’ve cleaned their rooms and run around doing nothing in the backyard. They’ve made things out of cardboard and drawn pictures in chalk on the driveway.
Growing up, whenever I would complain that I was bored, my dad would say, “only boring people get bored.” That was his way of saying, “go find something to do”.
I’ve repeated that to my kids often. They are usually not amused . . . but they do get to work finding a way to occupy their time.
When my kids complain to me that they are bored and want me to entertain them I come back with 1 of 2 things:
1. Here’s a chore that needs doing . . .
2. Go. Find. Something. To. Do.
They usually opt for choice #2.
Either way, it’s a win.
With summer in full swing, it probably won’t be long before your kids get bored and ask you to entertain them. If they need a little practice finding something to do, you could start them off with this list of great summer activities:
Kids Bored? Here’s a List of Things to Do:
- Make sandbox volcanos
- Magnifying Glass Science (This one requires a bit of supervision)
- Soda Bottle Compost
- Bubble Wrap Stamp Painting
- Balloon Rockets
- Water Marbles
- Pool Noodle Marble Racetrack
- Egg Carton Butterflies
- Firework Salt Painting
- Citrus Stamped Canvas Art Project
- Make a pool noodle play house
- Salt Writing
- Math War Multiplication Card Game
- Corn Starch and Water Goo
- Read a book (keep kids motivated with this free printable summer reading chart)
- Make sidewalk squirt paint
- Paint with homemade egg tempera paint
- Homemade paper top
- DIY water wall
- Make sand art with homemade colored sand
- Make a fingerprint picture
- Hot Rocks art for kids
- Make your own recycled paper
- Cookie sheet printing
- Build your own sprinkler
If that doesn’t keep your kids busy, nothing will!
My kids love this book on those bored days:
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