Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cures for "Mom, I'm bored!"

This week's Works for Me Wednesday theme is the "Mom, I'm bored" Summer Edition. I have to say, one benefit of having 3 children close in age is that I really rarely hear "I'm bored" when they are all home. There's always someone to play with and with the creativity of the 3 of them, always something interesting going on. I truly have more problems with the boredom complaint when my older two are at school and just my youngest is home and wants me to be his constant playmate and entertainer. And then I hear, "Mom, I'm boring!" Which is way cuter and less annoying than, "Mom, I'm bored!" But, I'm still very excited for his older brother and sister playmates to be home full time to keep him entertained this summer!

We are still holding out hope for a trip to Ethiopia this summer for our adoption court date. But in the mean time we do have several things we're looking forward to doing over the summer, many are on this Summer fun list from a couple years ago. But, I've really learned it doesn't take elaborate plans for my kids to have fun, give the three of them a bucket of water in the backyard and they'll surely be entertained for a good while, although there will be mud involved and much clean-up required at the end, including a bath for the dog!!

Along the simple lines, my 4 year old's preschool teachers gave the kids a great end of the year gift. It was a gallon size Ziploc bag filled with all kinds of random things to create with - paper cut out in various shapes, bottle caps, a paint brush, washable paint, glue stick, cardboard, adhesive letters, etc. Then they included a label that said, "Have a creative summer!" No doubt they compiled those bags with things they had left-over from the school year, but it was such a great gift idea and way better than a junky toy! My little guy has already enjoyed making some creations!

This would be an easy idea to do at any home, just find all kinds of random small things -- paper plates, rubber bands, paper clips, old magazines, etc. and put all the stuff in a box or bag with some typical craft supplies like crayons and glue sticks and let them go at it! For older kids you could even challenge them to create a robot or a boat or building and give them a time limit.

And if that doesn't work, there's always cleaning to do!! Ha! I waited tables in high school and early college and there was a manager that had the saying, "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean!" Anytime she saw any of the staff standing around, leaning on a counter talking, she'd say her famous line and send them off to tackle some dreaded chore! But, seriously the few times my kids have complained about nothing to do I've given them a list of chores to choose from and strangely enough now I don't hear that complaint much from my two older kids!!!

But on the chore note, the kids will play a much more active role in the household duties over the summer because they have more time. It's a great time for me to teach them to cook, sew, clean out cabinets, etc. My 8 year old is actually really excited to help me cook this summer; he has a list of several of his favorite foods he wants to learn to make!

And my last tip is workbooks. I buy my each of my kids a large workbook (from Sam's) at the beginning of each summer for the grade level they're going into and they love it! I don't even have to make them do the work; they just want to! I think the fact that it's not work they have to do, but just can when and if they want to, helps it be more fun!

For more summer ideas check out We are THAT Family.

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