Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Boredom Busters for Kids

I've never understood how kids can get bored. Really, there's just so much to do in childhood isn't there?

Isn't there?

I find it exhausting when my kids hound me with the 'I'm bored' moans. They're always picking my brains for solutions to this never-ending feeling they seem to possess and I am forever rolling my eyes, sighing and then thinking really, r-e-a-l-l-y hard to find just a glimmer of something fun, (in my pathetic memory bank), hoping like crazy for a spark of inspiration to ward them off.

Of course there are the obvious ideas you can suggest - like the things you see your kids enjoy regularly such as video games, movies on TV, reading and such, but usually when they throw this complaint out there in the first place, it's a signal that they've exhausted all of those regular avenues already.

I have often found the best ideas to suggest in these instances, are simply to recall and remind about some 'thing' or game or task that your kids have invented previously that kept them thoroughly entertained in the past. These turn out to be huge light-bulb moments when put-forward again. The moment the kids' remember the enormous fun they had when they did 'XXX' - they're off and doing it again with all the joy and enthusiasm of the first time around.


Having just endured one of those weekends where the kids were fretful and whiny, the idea for this post sprouted. (Sadly too late to put it to use on my weekend just gone though!) Here's a few boredom busters my kids enjoy (then forget), then enjoy again!

Digging in the garden. Okay, I realise that this one is not for everyone, especially if you have a stunning, manicured yard or you are overly-particular about having spotlessly clean kids! Having four boys means I no longer have control over either so it's anything goes down at the bottom of our garden.

My boys enjoy digging for bugs, spiders, frogs and lizards. They're always on the lookout for new and unconventional pets. This is a great free activity and it gets the kids outdoors and happy and we all know - happy kids, equals a happy Mum.

Build a bedroom fort. How much fun is a homebuilt space for kids? Immense fun, plus some! Suggesting this one to kids is always a winner and I honestly can't recall a time this offering has been rejected by my kids - ever.

This is the kids' last major bedroom fort build that took two days in the making!

Bedroom forts involve building with bedding, pillows, toys and other household items to create a hideaway that keeps parents out and the fun within. Kids can get so creative doing this and I always get a kick out of the results.

Writing Birthday or Christmas lists 'out of season.' This one's always a winner in my book. What does it matter that Junior has just had a Birthday or Christmas was only a week ago? Bored kids love to write about what they want next time! They find this activity so much fun. Sometimes it even involves a browse through recent toy catalogues and online toy stores for inspiration.

When they've completed their lists, get them to decorate them and then hold onto them as a keepsake to remember their outlandish requests that can sometimes add up to $1000's of dollars worth!

Dish out tasks to earn pocket money. Let's face it, kids love to earn a little cash to spend on lollies, toys and the like. Parents like to have kids do the nitty-gritty, boring cleaning stuff. It's a match made in Heaven! Suggest some weeding or doing the dishes, (kids seem to think this is fun so why spoil the experience for them?) Bedroom tidying, folding clothing, sorting the washing, cleaning shoes. You will never run out suggestions to fill this space.

Lounge room camp-out. This is a fun way to watch a movie that makes it just a little more special too. Let the kids bring their bedding into the lounge and set themselves up nice and comfy for a luxury movie experience. Make some popcorn in a big bowl and settle down together for some peace and quiet. This one works a treat for making the kids settle.

Making pretty bangles - a sneaky peek at Featured Thursdays here this week...

Jewellery making. Simple and fun and always a winner. If you've not got beads about the house, buttons work just as well. You could even use pegs, bread ties or paper clips. Just add wool, cotton, wire or thread.

For the toddler: Do you own an Aqua Doodle play mat? These are the absolute best! Young kids get the thrill of painting without any mess at all. Just water alone is all they need to make magic pictures that vanish when dry. We love our Aqua Doodle!

Chalk drawings. Pick up a tub of pavement chalk next time you are at the supermarket and save it for the kids' worst bored days. Having a few surprise toys hidden away works wonders for re-igniting play passion.

Bake cookies. This is a never-fail suggestion. Kids of all ages are happy to mix up kitchen concoctions that they can then consume. It's a little messy and noisy but it's always a hit. Try these choc chip cookies for starters or these ANZAC biscuits for an easy place to start.

Other things you can try: Make play dough, coloured rice or pasta, thread necklaces (using cereals or pasta noodles), make paper bag puppets, drawing, act out a storybook, make ice cream, Hide and Seek, have a treasure hunt, bird watching...
What games have your kids invented that they always fall back on when they're bored?
How do you handle bored kids?
Recent posts on Six Little Hearts you may have missed:
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  1. I just bought an aqua doodle play mat for my grand daughter for her birthday. I had not seen them before!
    Some great ideas here :)

    1. Your Grand Daughter will love it! So will her parents ;D

  2. I used to get the kids to paint massive boxes. We made a giant Thomas once, plus Diesel, lots of gravestones for Haalloween and a huge robot, bigger than the child. They paint them, then we decide what we're making....

    1. I love this. I have plans to make a Tardis from our next big ticket purchase box! The kids are often asking to do it.

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  4. I cleared out our spice rack the other day - there were about 10 bottles of expired spices! My 4yo spent the next hour at the kitchen sink doing 'science experiments' by mixing them all together with water! We've but the bottles away in his bedroom for future experiments :) #TeamIBOT

    1. That sounds like fun. I can see my kids getting into that. I love that you've kept your jars for next time too.

  5. I cleared out our spice rack the other day - there were about 10 bottles of expired spices! My 4yo spent the next hour at the kitchen sink doing 'science experiments' by mixing them all together with water! We've but the bottles away in his bedroom for future experiments :) #TeamIBOT

  6. I cleared out our spice rack the other day - there were about 10 bottles of expired spices! My 4yo spent the next hour at the kitchen sink doing 'science experiments' by mixing them all together with water! We've but the bottles away in his bedroom for future experiments :)

  7. Oh, I love this collection of idea. The birthday list and the Aqua Doodle mat are on my to do list! Thanks!

    1. Yes, the Birthday list is always a winner. Aqua Doodles are one of those timeless toys that are worth the investment. (It's a very small investment too.)

  8. Great ideas. I often wish I was a kid again so I could be 'bored' !

    1. I would love to feel boredom again - how good would that be!

  9. I always had a rule when mine were little if anyone looked or said they were bored there was plenty of house work to go round. I didn't really need the rule though because I had 3 under 3 who played easily together and all love a good book.

    1. Reading is a fabulous thing if you can get kids in the mood. I like to dish out the housework too.

  10. I usually get my kids in the kitchen with me and we bake something together and by the time we are done they are ready to run off and make up their own game. Cooking must be good thinking time.

    1. Cooking is a great way to keep kids happy isn't it. And distraction is a powerful thing. :D

  11. Oh I LOLd at your first one! At the house we just moved out of, my husband had dug what we called "The Hole" in the front yard near the side gate. And gee, didn't "The Hole" get a workout. It was better than a trampoline or a pool or something. My two year old and five year old were obsessed with it. Hours of good honest fun!

    1. Oh I am so glad someone else understands this one! I thought peeps might think me nuts for including it but I swear, it works a treat every time! My boys caught a frog in their hole yesterday and they were so thrilled!

  12. My girls would love an aqua doodle! What a great idea! Where did you get them from?

    1. Aqua Doodles are wonderful! I am not sure now where I bought mine. I think it was online - a few years back. Just do an internet search and you should be able to locate one.

  13. I've never seen an aqua doodle play mat before. It looks really cool. Our girls love digging in the garden with their dad.Baking is what they like to do with me :)

  14. Really good ideas! I have a 2 year old so some of these will definitely suit. He loves being outside in the dirt....I think all boys do :). Never heard of an Aqua Doodle!! Will have to look into one.

    Thanks for the ideas. xo

  15. Love this! Going to save! Im always wracking my brains for fun things to do! #brilliantblogposts

  16. Great list. We do most of it but I am liking the jewellery idea. I might get them to make presents for christmas. My youngest would love it. #brilliantblogposts

  17. These are some really great ideas! My child loves building dens and forts too! It's a big thing in Milnesville especially on a rainy day! A #BrilliantBlogPost Angela x

    Angela recently posted, "Helping children develop writing skills through play" http://wp.me/p5XRN6-1pz

  18. Good suggestions! The aquadoodle mats are brilliant, aren't they?? #brilliantblogposts

  19. Some fabulous ideas here that will help me during the summer holidays. I have a 10 year old and 2 year old and you have presented me ideas for both, thank you #BrilliantBlogPosts


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  21. Thanks for sharing this with all of us.


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