Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Boredom Busters

Hey everyone!

As you know, there is no way to plan every second of every day during the summer holidays. There will be down-time, especially when mom has to work (I cannot afford to not write all summer!). And so, we've created a Boredom Busters jar!



What is it?

Well, it's a little jar (actually a Nutella-knock-off from Shoprite), all decorated with fun papers and filled with lots and lots of great little ideas.

The plan - whenever my kids tell me they're bored, they'll have to dig into the Boredom Busters jar and pull out an activity that they can do by themselves, right away.

What is important is that if you have one, you set rules about using it, otherwise your kids could end up pulling the thing apart looking for what they like, rather than trying new things or doing 'chores' they might pull.

One way to set it up is that when they say they're bored, they HAVE to do the first thing they pull. Another way would be to let them pull, say three, and then they have to choose one of those three.

What should the little slips say?

Really, that is entirely up to you, but be sure to take into account your children - their ages, abilities, likes - when you create your list. Something that might be in my jar may not work for your kids. Likewise, things I've found on other lists I've found across the internet won't work for us. For example, we don't have a backyard, so lots of those kinds of things are really out for us.

To create my slips, I typed my list of suggestions in Word (well, actually, I use Open Office, which is FREE and does most of what MS Office does), then I changed it to double-spacing and printed. The double spacing made it much easier to cut the little slips up. For smaller children (or a bigger jar) you may want to make them much bigger than the tiny slips I used. You could even use coloured index cards.

Decorating the jar?

I cleaned out my jar and then ran it through the dishwasher. Once it was completely dry, I simply took strips of paper and wrapped them around using double-sided tape.

If you're not sure what size strips, take a measuring tape and wrap it around the jar to determine the length, and then measure the width. My jar had indentations 'built-in' which framed the original label, so I used that spacing for the width of the strips. I also cut a circle to fit into the lid and used some scrapbooking stickers to finish of the label.

The list?

There would be no point to this blog post if I didn't share this list with you! Of course, my list reflects the ages, likes and abilities of my two sons (aged 10 and 6-1/2). I've also included things that I wouldn't mind seeing them do, like memorize a Bible verse or a poem, and even chores around the house.

You will notice in the list that somethings are duplicated (like "Do a Chore of Mom's Choice"). I've left these duplications in, so that if you decide to just copy and paste, they're already there for you.

Play a board game
Build a fort
Draw a map of the neighbourhood
Copy a famous painting
Bake cookies
Perform a random act of kindness
Make leaf rubbings
Make a book
Write a letter for a family member
Make a puzzle
Blow bubbles
Make a movie
Make a time capsule
Read a chapter book together
Paper airplane contest
Picnic on the front porch
Make home-made play-doh
Trace your hand then turn it into something else
Have an indoor treasure hunt
Skype a friend
Take a nap
Make your bed
Laundry hunt
Dirty dishes hunt
Make a door knob hanger
Make a collage
Make a puppet
Write a story
Draw a picture
Make a comic book or comic strip
Make a joke book
Put on some music and dance
Find shapes in the clouds
Plan a treasure hunt with clues
Write down 10 things you love about each member of your family
Write in your journal
Organize your room
Create a play
Make popsicles
Memorize a Bible verse
Memorize a poem
Draw a picture of a desert island with all the things you want on it
Create your own board game
Make a list of things you can do without a grown-up
Mix liquid hand soap, cornstarch and food colouring and paint the bathtub
Do a chore of mom's choice
Do a chore of mom's choice
Do a chore of mom's choice
Do a chore of mom's choice
Interview a family member
Collect the trash
Find 5 toys to donate
Read for 15 minutes
Play hopscotch
Look at a photo album
Play with sidewalk chalk
Watch a movie
Organize your toys
Go for a walk
Play hide & seek
Plan a family activity
Plan dinner
Have a photo shoot

Thanks again for looking!

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