In an effort to get X off the computer more, I have come up with boredom buster ideas for him so I’m less tempted to give into his pleas for time. Pinterest has been a huge help for this, along with my own experiences with kids before electronics took over our house.
X is always frustrated when he can’t have computer time and there’s no one willing to play a game with him. We don’t have a yard, and there aren’t any other kids around us, so he isn’t likely to play outside either. I hate how much screen time he has, but I don’t want to, and don’t have time to, play with him whenever he’s bored. This usually leads to him being antagonistic or annoying while he tries to draw attention to himself for a little fun.
In an effort to face this big fat demon in my life, I’ve decided to offer him 10 ideas each month that he can do on his own or with G, and then let his creativity take over from there. (For frame of reference, X is eleven and G is three.) To display these ideas, I created a “Bored Board” for him, and stuck it on top of the piano, because that’s where we stick things in our house.
All of these ideas have been a hit with him, and I’m surprised how involved with things, like the newspaper fort, he got. The other kids have gotten some use out of the list as well, and having a plan is helping me to stick to my guns when it comes to limiting computer time. So here they are, 10 Indoor Boredom Busters Your Kids Can Do Without Your Help.
1.Play Square Ball
“Square Ball” is played in the hallway. At one end of the hallway, tape a large square to the floor. We used duck tape, but painter’s tape would work too. Tape two more squares, each smaller than the last, inside the large square. On the other end of the hallway, tape a line on the floor. This is the line you must stand behind when throwing your “balls”.
If you have carpet, you can use an actual ball and roll it towards the squares. With hardwood floors, a regular ball doesn’t stop, so X made paper “balls” by crumpling up sheets of paper. The small square is worth 10 points, the medium square is worth 5 points, and the large square is worth 1 point. Super easy. X also challenged Dan and G with paper airplanes, and foam darts. The great thing is, it is just there in the hallway now and he can play whenever he wants.
2. Make a Newspaper Fort
This was super fun! And once X started, K, G, and even Dan joined in for over an hour. This fort is made entirely out of newspaper, structure and all, and it opened X’s mind to creating other structures with materials around the house.
For full instructions, check out this post on PBS Kids. Instead of using a sheet to cover the top, K had the idea of making the cover out of newspaper as well. The only supplies you need are newspaper, tape, and a stapler.
3. Read a Graphic Novel
I know reading a book is an old standard, but X isn’t one who flocks to books the way my girls did at his age. The only books he likes are graphic novels. But it must be a thing with a lot of kids, because more and more classic and wonderful books are being converted to graphic novels! This is exciting. On our last library trip we discovered graphic novel versions of: “A Wrinkle in Time”, “The Lightening Thief”, and “The Little Prince”. These are longer than regular graphic novels and so occupy more of his time. It also gets him interested in more intense books. He loved The Lightening Thief graphic novel, so I’m hoping to convince him to read the sequel in its original form.
10 Indoor Boredom Busters that kids can do on their own. #parenting #kids Click To Tweet
4. Make Your Own Comic Strip
After reading a bunch of graphic novels, making a comic strip of their own (even if it’s about their computer games), will seem much more exciting. I challenge X to make them funny, because then he gets to show off his humor to the family.
5. Play Pyramid Solitaire
More interesting than traditional Solitaire, Pyramid Solitaire also helps with math skills.
Using a standard 52-card deck, numbered cards are face value and Jacks value at 11, Queens 12, and Kings 13. The object is to pair up cards to total 13. So a King doesn’t need a pair, but a Queen needs a 2 and an 8 needs a 5.
To set up the pyramid, one card is dealt face up at the top of the playing area, then two cards beneath and partially covering it, then three beneath them, and so on completing with a row of seven cards for a total of 28 cards dealt. The remaining cards are placed in a pile face down below the pyramid. This pile is the “Stock”.
The object of the game is to remove all the cards from the Pyramid and Stock by pairing them up to 13. Only exposed cards can be used from the pyramid, and 1 card is turned over from the Stock at a time. Two exposed pyramid cards can pair up, or you can pair a Stock card with a Pyramid card. When paired, set in discard pile.
If a stock card can’t pair up, it is put into a separate pile to be recycled up to three times once the Stock is empty. If the pyramid can’t be dissolved after 3 run throughs of the Stock, the game is lost.
6. Build Card Houses
There was this one time that my kids spent an entire afternoon filling our entire living room with card houses. I needed to walk through it to get to the kitchen and it was like a land mine challenge. It wasn’t just about stepping on one, if I made too much wind as I passed, 10 houses would fall down and they’d all yell out in shock. It was pretty funny. To this day, hours can be passed with elaborate and frustratingly difficult card house structures. We use the bag of odds and ends cards that no longer make a full deck.
7. Have a Handstand Contest
One kid times, while the other does a hand stand. The time starts when feet are in the air, and stops when they hit the ground. Just make sure there’s a big enough open space for flying legs.
8. Do a Puzzle
We love puzzles. It’s a commitment, because starting a puzzle is like starting a book. It occupies your time and sucks you in. This is perfect for bored kids. I find that for X’s age, 100-500 piece puzzles are best.
9. Practice String Ball
This game is addicting. We got ours at Target for $13.00, but they are being sold at mall kiosks like crazy. The object of the game is to get the wooden ball to land on any of the three cup surfaces or to skewer it on the spike. The only issue with this game is that if your fingers get caught in-between the wooden ball and the wooden handle when the ball comes down, it hurts.
10 #Lego Challenges to keep kids busy and bust boredom. Click To Tweet
10. Complete a Lego Challenge
Having a list of Lego challenges is a great resource for boredom. So guess what? I’ve made a printable one for you. It’s also Pinnable (hint hint). I know, I know. You love me.
That’s it! You are officially armed with something to say when the “B” word is used. And now you don’t have to feel bad if you dole out chores when they complain anyway. See? Motherhood can be fun.