Keep this list on standby this summer. We’re giving you 10 boredom busters (for inside and out) using things you should already have on hand! Best of all? Many of these tricks are portable, so they are great for taking on the road, at resorts and especially Grandma’s house!
Pom Pom Races
For this activity, grab that almost empty roll of painters tape from the garage. Make a track on the floor, hand your children a straw and a pom-pom (or anything they could move across the floor through that straw!) After their done racing, let them make their own tape track, and leave it on the floor for them to use as a car race track or Barbie fashion runway long after the pom-pons have been tossed aside.
Picnic on the Floor
An example of doing what you normally do everyday, just in a different way! Change up your lunchtime routine by having a picnic (indoors or out). Spread out a blanket, pull out the dress up trunk and invite your favourite superheroes to lunch. Take it one step further and let your kids help you prepare the picnic, pick the menu, even pack up the food like you would if you were going somewhere!
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Channel back to your 7th grade Science project where you stayed up all night creating that papier-mâché volcano. Play around with vinegar and baking soda, and watch your children “ooo” and “aah” over the mini-explosions. My personal favourite – the Exploding Sandwich Bag – where you combine the two in a sandwich bag, seal the bag before they mix and watch as the sandwich bag expands with air and explodes!
With a ton of bubble solution recipes all over the internet, one ingredient is consistent across them all – regular old dish soap. The recipe we used was a combination of dish soap, baking powder, corn starch and water. Triple the recipe and fill the bottom of a kiddie pool. Grab the hula hoop from the garage. Encourage your kids to stand in the centre of the pool and surround them in one giant bubble. Keep in mind that the longer the solution sits, the more effective it will be!
Ice Cream in a Bag
Half a cup of cream, a splash of vanilla and a couple teaspoons of sugar – you could be eating ice cream in a matter of 10 minutes. This is a must-try. Throw it in a Ziploc bag. Add some ice and salt to a freezer bag. Make sure your vanilla mixture is tightly sealed, add it to the ice bag and SHAKE. You may need to dig out some winter gloves for this. Really make sure the vanilla mixture is sealed, if any salt from the ice seeps into the cream, your ice cream will be spoiled.
Hallway Obstacle Course
Channel your inner spy and create a fun obstacle course – indoors or out. Use whatever you happen to have on hand – those leftover streamers from last weeks birthday party, that old roll of bakers twine in the kitchen drawer, the only limit is your imagination!
Upside Down Painting
Basically, start thinking outside of the box. Think of your go-to activities for your kids, and brainstorm ways to change it up. Maybe you do a lot of painting at home? Change it up by taping their paper to the underside of the table (or chairs); have them lay on the floor on their backs to paint their masterpiece.
Again, thinking outside the box. Go for a walk outside and have them scour the ground collecting nature things. Use your imagination and the objects you’ve collected as unconventional paintbrushes!
Ice Block Excavation
Throw those tiny little toys you’re always stepping all over into a bucket with some water. Toss it in the freezer and voila! You are ready for an ice block excavation! Place your ice block outside and let your kids at it with whatever tools they have handy. Experiment by adding salt or water onto the ice and see what happens.
Mix washable paint with some water and add it to whatever empty spray bottle or even squirt gun you have hanging around. Each paint colour will need its own “spray” device. Throw some paper down outside and let them have some fun. Just be ready to replace the paper every once and while – they’ll want to keep painting and painting!
One thing to keep in mind – it really is ok to let your kids get bored sometimes! It gives them the opportunity to surprise you as they engage their imaginations and come up with new and exciting games on their own! Just last week – our two oldest spent the entire weekend creating and re-creating amusement park “centres” complete with park passes, all because they were feeling “bored”.