Start a Boredom Basket to add FUN to your Family Life

Since July was Anti-Boredom month, we’ve really been working at finding ways to combat moments of boredom.  Why?  Because lately, when the kids are bored, they flip on the TV.  Since I give away free books for a living, it’s rather annoying to see my kids flip on the TV instead of picking up a book to find a solution to their boredom.  It isn’t like we don’t have a plethora of Things to Make and Do books, cook books, recipe cards, travel games books, board games, learning palette, learning wrap-ups and books on CD.  So, I got to thinking….why?  Why do they still meander towards the TV?

Well, it’s big, it’s there and it’s easy.  And, even though we have the books around, it’s still an effort to think of which one to go to for fun at that moment!  Solution – the Boredom Basket!

Set up your Boredom Basket today and make it as fun as possible!

  1. Gather sheets of colorful paper
  2. Cut them up into small slips of paper
  3. Write all kinds of things to do on them
  4. Fold them up and put them in the basket

Here are some ideas we used:

  • Read a Book with a Purple Spine (and put a slip in for every color spine)
  • Find Djibouti (and put in many slips with other countries, major cities and U.S. States)  A good atlas and globe are helpful to have!
  • Small Chores (dishwasher, clear island, pick up 10 things, clear stairs)
  • Walk the Dog
  • Play with the Dog
  • Play ___________ (board game)  Examples: Scrabble, Dominoes, Picture Word Lotto, Snakes and Ladders
  • Play ___________(parlor game)  Examples: Hide the Thimble, Name Game, Duck Duck Goose, Spoons
  • Play___________(outdoor game)  Examples:  Capture the Flag, Kick the Can, Horse, Pig, Jump on the Trampoline
  • Play____________(card game)  Examples: Go Fish, Crazy 8’s, Old Maid, Snap, Rummy
  • Go to the Park
  • Go Swimming
  • Look for ___________(anything inside or outside from a Pill Bug to a leaf to a ball of yarn to your youngest child’s shoes)
  • Spell a Word
  • Do a Math Problem
  • Memorize an Historical Date
  • Do Yoga
  • Blow Bubbles
  • Build a Tent
  • Create a Scavenger Hunt
  • Make an Obstacle Course
  • Swat a Fly
  • Sing a Song
  • Do a Dance
  • Mommy Reads to You
  • Daddy Reads to You
  • Learn to Knit
  • Learn to Sew on a Button
  • Learn to Crochet
  • Make a Placemat
  • Roast Marshmallows (or microwave one – careful!)
  • Color
  • Pretend ________
  • Bake Bread
  • Bake a Cake
  • Bake Cookies
  • Bake Muffins
  • Do a Craft Project
  • Turn the Compost Pile
  • Stand on Your Head
  • Do a Cartwheel
  • Do a Somersault
  • Ride Your Bike
  • Make Funny Faces in the Mirror
  • Putt in the hallway into a plastic cup
  • Ask Mom!
  • Ask Dad!

Obviously, some of these will be weather-permitting, so the kids need to know it isn’t a guarantee.  If they pick out something and the weather won’t allow it, or my time won’t permit it, I let them cash it in later!  You can also repeat some several times if the kids need to do them more than once a month.  🙂  The fun is in the surprise of what is coming next.  Even if it’s a chore, if it’s quick and simple, and they know they get to pick something else out quickly, they are much happier to do it!

We have about 40 slips that say Read a _____ with all kinds of different endings.  Read a red book, read a book with an animal on the cover, read a Kane Miller book, read an Usborne book, read an Internet-Linked book, etc.  If you really get stuck for ideas, ask.  I like generating ideas!

This is also a really great way to keep the kids happy when you work from home and have to take a phone call!  Don’t automatically turn on a DVD, but ask the person who has called you to hold for a moment, have them draw something out of the basket, and they get to go do that thing while you’re on your phone call.

Let me know how your boredom basket works!

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