There are three words that wreak havoc on a busy mom, “Mom, I’m bored”. Before you get all mad remember that we’ve all been there as kids too. Don’t you remember saying the same thing to your mom? And what did she say? “Go outside and play.” We went outside and stared at everyone in the neighborhood with an expression that says, “play with me!” Going outside didn’t kill us, in fact, it made me appreciate the outdoors more. Ye, we made it through some boring days, but if it wasn’t for our moms and their ideas we’d probably be off-balance a bit. Ha ha ha! Thanks, Mom!
Chores are not what they’re looking for…
Mom’s are great for thinking up solutions to boredom questions. A few ideas I like to rattle off to my son are: clean your room, organize your closet, dig a hole, read, vacuum the living room, wash windows, sweep the driveway…and the chore list keeps building. But chores are not what a kid wants to do when they are bored.
Outside fun to cure the ‘bored’!
During the pandemic the phrase, ‘I’m bored, probably went from hearing it to 3 times a day to 20 times a day! We, moms, get so sick and tired of hearing it. And yes, we can say to them to go outside and play; there is nothing wrong with that. They’ll find something to do in God’s creation.
In fact, the Outdoor Industry Association states from their study that, “Reconnecting youth with the outdoors has become critical to the health of future generations and the health of our natural landscapes.” Getting outside is HUGE for our kiddos. Please encourage them to do so. To help you out I created a slew of printables for kids that encourage them to learn more about the outdoors and have fun doing it. You can head to my Etsy Shop to check them out.
10 ideas of how to answer ‘Mom, I’m bored”
1) Make them laugh.
When they say “I’m bored” reply with “Hi Bored. I’m Mom, how are you doing today?” Encourage them to read some jokes or to create three new jokes for supper time. Try to avoid the eye roll or a harsh reply. Instead, give them a tickle in their side and tell them you want a comedy show after supper. Reiterate their creativity and how funny they are. Here’s a joke book I created with family-friendly laughs.
2) Create a talent show.
Speaking of shows. My family enjoys watching talent shows on TV. Why not have your own talent show? Have you kids put together their very own talent show. They can do multiple talents and practice, practice, practice. Have them make a talent show sign, tickets, and maybe even create a theme song or commercial! This is super fun. Kids can do magic tricks, dance, sing, do bike tricks, trampoline routine, swimming tricks, trick shots, drawing, card tricks, jump rope, chalk art, you name it. Golly, I want my son to do a talent show now!
3) Restaurant fun!
Have them play restaurant for real. This isn’t necessarily a chore. But have them cook dinner, complete with menu, table service, and multiple courses. They’ll need an appetizer, soup or salad, main meal, and dessert. If they aren’t old enough to cook, have them make a pretend meal and menu.
4) Get out the scavenger hunt on steriods
Get them busy with a scavenger hunt. There are many scavenger hunt printables out there, or you can simply create your own, it only takes a few minutes. If you have older kids I highly recommend my very own Scavenger Hunt Challenge! This involves a little bit of set-up, but it will keep them busy for three hours, yes 180 minutes. Personally, I found it very fun to watch. You can download this hunt by subscribing to my newsletter, you’ll find it in my Freebies!
5) Write stories or comics
Some kids love to read, others do not. My son is the NOT one. Instead of reading, have them create a comic book with pictures and bubble text. Give them ideas of what to write about by what your child likes. He is into gaming? Pizza? Sports? Robots? Hunting? Motorcycles? You can get these blank comic books on Amazon to help guide them into making a masterpiece! My son made a whole series of comics about his superpower and his superpower friends. It was hilarious!
6) Photography at it’s finest
If you want them off the gaming, turn on camera mode. Have them head outside and take pictures of what’s going on around them. You can ask for a gallery of photos that you all can review at dinner time. Have them take pictures of leaves, flowers, wildlife or bugs, or anything blue, yellow, or red. They can create a game with photos too; for instance, you have them take 10 pictures and you have to guess what they all have in common…like things that move.
7) Obstacle course to the rescue
Have them create an obstacle course. With American Ninja Warrior going on, this is super fun for kids. Essentially, sidewalk chalk can go a long way here. They can draw different jumps, hopscotch boards, cartwheel areas, and walking on a line. The kids can set up things to climb and jump over. If you have a play structure or live by a school or playground they can do things there. They can even pretend to not touch the ground as one of their obstacles!
8) Playlist creation
If you have an older kid who can navigate a phone and a playlist, have them create a playlist for YOU! This can take them forever.
9) Puzzles and Printables
As I mentioned earlier, have them do puzzles. I created some amazing activity kits that will keep them busy and have fun doing it. My activity kits include camping, fishing, fireflies, trees, and more. All of them are made for 6 year-olds and older. They are fun to do as a family too! You can find them all here.
10) Start a business
Have them think of a business and plan it. They could start a coloring business, mowing business, flower arranging, baking, trick show business, LEGO building business, video making, practice being a nurse, toy cleaning gig, toy fixing, dog walking, swing-set testing, Hot Wheels cleaning, you name it.
BONUS IDEA! Create your very own putt-putt golf course around the yard or at a park. All you need is a putter, a few golf balls, and a cup or a piece of yarn to make a “hole”.
There you go! Ten ways, plus a bonus, to answer the dreaded “Mom, I’m bored”. Remember to be happy, thankful for their honesty, and to encourage their creativity.