“Mom, I’m bored.”
“Mom, there’s nothing to do.”
“Mom, you never want us to have any fun.”

Kids' Crafts

We’ve all heard those before. Come to think of it, we’ve all said them before, to our own mothers! Even as adults some of us get bored easily. But honestly I never get bored. Like ever. As an only child who lived where I couldn’t even walk to a friend’s house, I had to learn to amuse myself both at home and on car rides, even vacations. Some of those self-entertainment tricks easily transferred into adulthood (beyond the obvious smartphone, which I didn’t grow up with, so I’m leaving it out of this post).For example, I always carry a book or magazine with me. In fact, I leave one in my car because you never know when you’ll have a long wait at the school pickup line, doctor or really anywhere. Beyond that easy idea, here are some others for times when weather, illness or other unfortunate circumstances keep you and the kiddos at home. It really boils down to the KISS method (Keep It Simple, Silly):

TIPS TO BEAT BOREDOM

  • GAMES: Besides the ordinary board (“bored”?) games, sometimes the most fun games are those that are made up. I’m not sure how this came about, but a few years ago the kids and I made up a candle game. I always have a big Yankee Candle burning.  It works like this: the burning candle is on the kitchen island and we are all standing around it. One person blows on the candle, with the object being to blow as much as you can without extinguishing the flame. When someone blows it out, they are out. Then you light it again. The last person standing wins. It gets more interesting with two and three wicks. We have had more laughs with this game!  Jackson actually discovered that if you try to relight a candle immediately after blowing it out, and ignite the striker in the air above the wick, it will relight without actually touching the wick.  The kids still play hide & seek (mostly outdoors), indoor tag with the lights off, and even still make things out of cardboard boxes and they’re in middle school! No age is too old for fun & games. (Some of our favorite board games are Yahtzee, Monopoly, LCR and Uno.)Put on a Play{The kids used to love to drag chairs out onto the porch and have “plays.” Just let them do it. Easier to put back later than fight it; plus it’s fun!}

 

  • COOKING: I’m no chef, as my family would tell you. But I do have a bunch of basics that I can do with my eyes closed, which is really handy for all the kids that are in and out of our house on the weekends and after school. Grilled cheese, mac & cheese, anything cheese. The kids generally like to help cook, and I want them to grow up having the basics under their belt. Sometimes helping just entails stirring, other times it means cracking the eggs, which they have just about mastered. They love to use the handheld mixer! The things they’ve practiced a lot, besides the grilled cheese and mac & cheese, include: eggs, pancakes, waffles, chopping vegetables, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, apple pie, milkshakes, cupcakes, cookies and muffins. It’s fun to get in the kitchen together and make a mess! I always end up learning something new too.

Kids Cooking

{This blue bowl belonged to my Granny. I love it because of that but also because it has a spout for easy pouring of batter. The kids added the bee sitcker!}

  • ORGANIZE. This doesn’t have to be a terrible chore. The kids can help organize fun things in small chunks like craft supplies, their stuffed animals (bag up unwanted ones to donate later), or your makeup drawer. James said my drawers were “making his OCD crazy” so I told him to be my guest and organize one or two. Kids will be more ruthless and throw out things we may have otherwise kept but don’t really need. They want to live in a clutter-free house too.
  • EXPLORE. Get out in your neighborhood and check out some things you wouldn’t otherwise see. These things may not be pretty but they will interest the kids. Things like squatting down to look inside a drain for a kitten, as you see here in this photo. Make a rock pile. My Granny and I made one when I visited her and my Papaw in Tucson, where they lived a few winters. We added to it every day and it took on a life of its own. I was sad to leave it when I had to return home, but she would still add to it and mail me photos of it. It was like a work of art to me and it’s still one of my fondest memories. Looking in the DrainRock Pile

The main thing to remember is that combatting boredom doesn’t have to be a big production or planned out. Most of the time, spontaneous activities like dance parties, turning on Sponge Bob, dinner together at the kitchen island or a pick-up basketball game in the driveway will be the most fun and memorable.

The important thing is to be together, laugh and make memories.

HAPPY BOREDOM-BREAKING!

Love, Martha

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