August 21, 2007

Cure For End-Of-Summer Boredom

My kids are bored and you know what that means, right? It means fighting and whining and complaining. And there is nuthin’ that pushes my buttons faster than THAT!

Now, normally they can find something to keep themselves occupied, but this has been a long summer. We usually homeschool year round, but this year life just got the upper hand and we’ve probably had 5 scheduled days, while the rest of the summer has been a herky-jerky mish-mash of free time that has resulted in many days of Unpleasantness between the kids.

My answer to the, “Mom, I’m bored,” statement is usually, “Oh, good! I’ve got a dirty toilet and scrub brush right here!” But they just don’t seem to like that very much.

Go figure!

So I’ve come up with some ideas to keep them occupied until I can pull it together and get school started.

  1. We make kids scrapbooks. I give the kids a mix of dud pictures and some of the double prints I have left over, a 3 ring binder, and clear page protectors. Then we glue the pictures onto white printer paper, draw and design around them, and slide them into their pages. I just let them loose and then read a good book!

  2. They play with corn starch goop! This stuffy is Nas-Tee but loads of fun!

  3. Give them shovels and let ‘em dig. I have a place in my yard where I just don’t care what it looks like. It’s off in a corner, and no one can see it. You’d be amazed how much fun 4 kids and 4 little garden shovels can have. They made up stories about treasure, and journeying to the center of the earth, and pirates that lasted from morning till dark. You wouldn’t believe how clean I got the house that day while everyone was outside.

  4. I keep several sets of toys in plastic buckets, hidden away. That way when we are stuck inside (we live in the rainy Pacific Northwest) it’s like having new toys to play with. I pull out a bucket and set it in the middle of the room and pretty soon all the kids are building cities with blocks, or playing make believe with the little people set. (Even the almost 12 year old jumps in, but he’d never admit it!)

  5. Now, this one sounds too easy and like it would never work, but the thing that works the VERY BEST is giving them each a drawer or cupboard and letting them organize it ANY WAY THEY WANT! If you are a control freak like me, this one might be hard. But once I loosened up about it, I figured the free time I would gain would outweigh the fact that it wasn’t being done MY way. Although sometimes this can cause severe eye twitching in the control freak.

  6. And one of the funnest things we’ve done is a treasure hunt. I make each kid a list of things to find outside; a round rock, a pine needle, a feather. Then I send them off. The winner gets to pick dessert that night or pick a book for me to read to everyone.

Let me know if you have any ideas. I’d love to add them to my “IF THEY DON”T STOP WHINING I’M GOING TO SCREAM” list.

Oh and check out more ideas at Works for me Wednesday.


TracyMichele said...

So what do you do with the kids while you re-organize the drawers they just worked on? LOL.

My kids were under foot and I definitely needed a second. I pitched tents in the living room for them:

Thanks for these tips! I will definitely be keeping them in mind.

Chappyswife said...

I think these are excellent ideas, and I am always searching for new, easy ways to help my boys have fun. Thanks!

Family O'Foxes said...

Love the scrapbook idea!! I need to let me kids do that!
That "goop" stuff is messy! I made it with my girl scout troop.

Kathy in WA said...

Gayle - These are great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I saw a post at Scribbit (do you ever read her blog?) and she soemtimes freezes the kids' toys and then lets them "excavate" the small items. I thought that was a great idea. I can just see my two younger boys hacking away at the ice to discover a beloved MatchBox car. Ha!

I love your scrapbook idea. Do you have to supervise or do you just let them 'have at it?'

Of course, you know we paint walls when we're bored. LOL! Just kidding.

Duckabush Blog

Jennifer said...

Great list! I will be trying some of these for sure. I especially like the drawer organizing bunch would love that!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas! My kids will love to reorganize my cabinets....LOL. I think we will try the scavenger hunt as well.

Thanks again for sharing.

Janelle said...

I love the scrapping idea. What fun! I have a "Summer Can" we use to chase away the boredom.

It is an empty paint can, decorated with fun srapbook paper and ribbon. I sat down with my kids and made a list of all the free things we could do around the house or town. We cut them into strips and put them in the can.

When we have a day of boredom, we can go to the can for a fresh idea. My kids love the surprise of not knowing what they will pick. It has proven to be a boredom buster.

Thanks for the great ideas!

Laane said...

Great ideas!

I always save the broken pencils.
When the girls tell me they're bored we go and sharpen them.

After that they often have new ideas.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

GREAT ideas. I love the digging idea. I think we'll have to try that this fall. It'll be a bit hard with the baby though...LOVE the idea of a treasure hunt. Hmmm...thinking I might try that too!

Cindy said...

You're so fun. I usually just threaten talk of boredom with laundry or cleaning projects. Once in a while I'm nice, though. I've allowed my girls to make up a new snack recipe with things they can find in the pantry and write the recipe down on a recipe card. One they came up with they called "Marshmallow Bonbons." They stuck marshmallows on a toothpick, dipped them in chocolate, and rolled them in sprinkles.

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