Do you feel like you are constantly trying to entertain your kids? It’s exhausting. Find out why I’m okay with my kids being bored and how it actually helps them in the long-run, PLUS get our list of favorite activities for kids if your kids need some ideas to help them get started entertaining themselves.
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.” I’ve repeated this to my kids, and they hate it when I do, but it is true. If they put in a little effort, they can ALWAYS find something to do.
There’s a caveat to this. Sometimes when kids say they are bored, what they are really asking for is some attention from you. It takes a bit of practice telling the difference between the two, but it is so important to answer that need for attention when kids reach out to you. I have one child who is frequently “bored”, but what he usually needs is a few minutes to talk to me. He isn’t craving something to do, he’s craving my full attention so he can tell me about the things that are important to him.
I’ve had to learn to notice the difference when my kids come to me saying they are bored, because I don’t want to turn a kid away who really just needs some attention from me.
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.
If they need a little practice finding something to do, you could start them off with this list of activities they can do.
Kids Bored? Here’s a List of our Favorite Activities for Kids
- Make sandbox volcanos
- Magnifying Glass Science (This one requires a bit of supervision)
- Make a fort
- Soda Bottle Compost
- Bubble Wrap Stamp Painting
- Balloon Rockets
- Draw a huge sidewalk chalk creation
- Water Marbles
- Pool Noodle Marble Racetrack
- Egg Carton Butterflies
- Firework Salt Painting
- Go on a nature walk
- 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
- Learn to bake something new
- Make sand art with homemade colored sand
- Make a fingerprint picture
- Hot Rocks art for kids
- Make your own recycled paper
- Plant a flower garden
- Cookie sheet printing
- Build your own sprinkler
- DIY Pool Noodle Swords
- Glue Suncatchers
- Handprint Flowering Cactuses
- Rainbow Cloud Craft
- DIY Unicorn Pen Holder
- Printable Paper Flower Garden
- Make homemade slime
- Fingerprinted Snap Dragons
- Make something creative with paint chips
- Make Washi Tape Beads
- Take a neighbor’s dog for a walk
- Paint without a paint brush
- Marble painting
- Make pattern art
- Make Wavy Paper Weaving Art
- Paint with water
- Make Coffee Filter Suns
- Make Painted Paper Weaving
- Pull weeds in the garden
- Make Q-tip Skeletons
If that doesn’t keep your kids busy, nothing will!
Resources for “Bored” Days
Made By Me Create Your Own Sand Art by Horizon Group USAMelissa & Doug Stained Glass Made Easy Activity Kit: Butterfly – 140+ StickersThe Dangerous Book for BoysThe Daring Book for Girlswhat to do when there’s nothing to doMelissa & Doug On the Go Origami Animals Craft Activity Set – 38 Stickers, 40 Origami PapersKlutz Make Clay Charms Craft KitALEX Discover My Giant Busy BoxCreativity for Kids Grow ‘n Glow Terrarium – Science Kit for KidsALEX Toys Craft Rock Pets Turtle, MultiKlutz Make Your Own Soap Science KitKlutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft KitKlutz Sew Mini Treats: More Than 18 Food Plushies to Stitch & StuffElmer’s Glue Deluxe Slime Starter Kit, Clear School Glue & Glitter Glue Pens, 3 Count4M Recycled Paper Beads KitMelissa & Doug Decorate-Your-Own Wooden Race Car Craft KitArtSkills Activity Bucket, Arts and Crafts Supplies, 10 Project Ideas, Assorted Colors and Shapes, 404 CountALEX DIY Knot A Quilt4M Crystal Growing ExperimentScientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science KitScientific Explorer POOF-Slinky Magic Science for Wizards Only Kit, (9) Activities, 0SA247The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the4M Kitchen Science KitSnap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit | Over 100 STEM Projects | 4-Color Project Manual | 30 Snap Modules | Unlimited FunSnap Circuits Snaptricity Electronics Exploration Kit | Over 75 STEM Projects | 4-Color Project Manual | 40 Snap Modules | Unlimited FunScientific Explorer Tasty Science KitMasterChef Junior Baking Kitchen Set – 7 Pc. Kit Includes Real Cooking Tools for Kids and RecipesCrazy Forts,Purple, 69 piecesFantasy Fort Kit Pretend Play Construction Building Set Indoor Playhouse Heavy Duty Faux Wood Panels Each Panel 22 x 22 Inches 32 PiecesAir Fort Build an Inflatable Fun Kid’s AirFort inflates in Seconds. The Easy Play Tent for Kids of All Ages! Mod About GrayMelissa & Doug On the Go Sequin Art Craft Activity Set: 500+ Sequins and Gems and 4 Scenes – MermaidsGreen Toys Jump Rope – BPA Free, Phthalates Free, Green Handle Skipping Rope Better Health, Increased Concentration. Fitness Equipment
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