Beating the Boredom Blues
Treasure hunts are interactive, creative and can be tailored to any age. Though they’re typically an outdoor activity, it’s easy enough to shift gears and create fun indoor treasure or scavenger hunts with a little time and imagination
It’s a rainy Saturday and you’re snuggled in your favorite chair with a cup of tea and a good book. Life is good except for one thing; your kids are getting restless. Although you appreciate the laid-back feeling of a dreary afternoon, your beloved offspring certainly do not. They’ve been cooped up in the house for hours with their boredom reaching epic proportions; you fear that any moment the cat will come running by dressed in drag.
The thought of a weekend filled with whining kids begins to hover over you like your own personal rain cloud. After weighing your options, you rule out running away to join the circus and decide to be proactive. Because you’re a seasoned and wise parent or grandparent, you know rainy days are great times for quality time, learning through play and creating special memories.
Enjoy Some Board Games
In lieu of the scores of apps, games and electronic games created to entertain kids, playing board games has almost become a lost art. The old-school games of MONOPOLY®, PayDay and SCRABBLE® can provide hours of family fun as can newer versions such as Farkle, SORRY! REVENGE and Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cheese Touch.
Nothing relieves the boredom blues like tactile activities. Hands-on activities such as baking, art projects or crafts are easy to create and allow kids to learn and have fun at the same time. Thanks to online sites such as Pinterest or ArtfulParent.com, families have endless resources for fun and easy craft items to create together. Cooking is a great family-friendly activity that doubles as a teaching experience for kids. Baking or preparing meals together allows kids to understand measurements, the process of following directions and the importance of cooking healthy.
If you’re a parent or grandparent of a school-aged child, you know that encouraging them to read is not only part of their schoolwork, but is oftentimes a frustrating struggle. Turn the tables for a day and create a Story Time activity in which you take turns reading to each other. Kids, no matter what age, still enjoy being read to, and this is a great time to dust off old family favorites or books from your own childhood.
Kids love to create special hiding places, forts, clubhouses and “hidey-holes” where their imagination can run wild. Forts can take many shapes and can be created by throwing blankets over dining room tables or bunk beds; even small closets can be transformed into fun reading places (if you don’t mind storing items elsewhere for a weekend). If you have a handful of blankets and sheets, fort building can result in a weekend of giggly fun.
Indoor Beach Party
When it’s cold outside, bring the fun in! Declare a Beach Day, put on swimsuits and dig into the plethora of summertime toys that were packed away once the leaves began to turn and the temps started to drop. Recreate the beach with colorful towels on the floor, summery snacks and even a “dip” into the pool/bathtub. Sand toys can be repurposed as bath toys for hours of splashy fun.
Act Out a Play
Acting out plays doesn’t have to be reserved for the annual grade school program. Parents can transform their homes into their own private mini-Broadway very easily with minimal mess. Sites such as freedrama.net are a great place to locate free family plays for kids of all ages to act out and include the fun titles of The Pint-Sized Pirate and Beauty IS a Beast. ArtDramaScripts.com has skits and plays for notable days such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Mother’s Day, plus holiday-themed plays for Halloween and Christmas; some are free, others are available for a small fee. The added bonus will be the fun and excitement of building a pretend stage and props for your fantastic family production.
Create a Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunts are interactive, creative and can be tailored to any age. Though they’re typically an outdoor activity, it’s easy enough to shift gears and create fun indoor treasure or scavenger hunts with a little time and imagination. Start by setting some rules, create clues, distribute those clues so that one leads to another and then place a toy or treat (the “treasure”) at the final destination. If there are multiple kids playing, have them take turns reading the clues and encourage them to work together to find the treasure. Make your treasure hunt just challenging enough to keep kids engaged and excited, but not so difficult that frustration sets in. If you need some help creating your treasure hunt clues, visit scavengerhuntsforkids.com or kids.lovetoknow.com for great ideas and printables.
Although it’s tempting to allow your kids to zone out in front of electronic devices, the bottom line is that it will be better for their health and creativity to fill that same time with fun and stimulating activities that the whole family can enjoy.
Sources: columbiaacademy.com and freedrama.net.