Keeping kids from bouncing off the wall can be tricky. While I am a big fan of letting kids be bored because that’s when they delevelop all their creativity and out of box thinking. But sometimes it’s really nice to have some boredom busters for your sanity.
Our Top Eight Boredom Busters
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Here are the top eight boredom busters I employ in our household to not only keep my 3-year old busy but to have some fun as well! We try to do some sort of structured craft or activity at least twice during the week and usually again once the weekend rolls around. I find that keeping a list of about ten new activities to try and purchasing/collecting the supplies all at once makes it much easier to keep my boy entertained at the spur of the moment.
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Paint Station: In the kitchen, the cupboard closest to the dining table houses our craft supplies that get daily use. I keep a caddy stashed with finger paints, paper, brushes, watercolors, etc. When I’m trying to get dinner completed, I’ll pull out the caddy and set him up for work.
Marble Painting: When the paints are out on the table, many times we will create artwork by using a plastic container, I use a drawer from a plastic drawer set, and tipping it back and forth to move the marbles or golf balls over the paint.
Creating Sculptures with Small Objects: This one clearly requires adult supervision, but it is one of my son’s favorite activities. I save all of our old glass condiment jars (because of the large size, pickle jars and spaghetti sauce jars are the best!) and we keep on hand different small objects such as beads, rocks, or shells. My son likes to man the gun, with my help, while I hold on to the object and he tells me where to place them.
“Washing” the Dishes: What kid doesn’t love to play in the water, especially with the kind of heat we’re having in our town? Gabriel loves to get up on a chair, squirt some bubbles into the water and either wash dishes or give his little figurines a bath. This keeps him entertained for hours!
Cooking with Kids: Every child I know loves playing around in the kitchen. Recently, I washed blueberries, grapes and strawberries, brought out some plastic cups, popsicle sticks and capri suns and let my son go to town making his own popsicles. He was so proud of his work the next afternoon when he pulled out his own creation! Whether it’s baking, cooking, or making some sort of fun play dough, Gabriel loves to be in the kitchen.
Sensory Play with Rice or Beans: This gets messy, so I like to have my son play with either rice or beans on the tile floor. We put either dry ingredient into a bin, bury some of toys inside and let him go to town pulling them in and out, burying their legs or creating little scenes with animals. We’ve colored the rice with food coloring and created layers in one of our glass jars, added some plastic flowers and given it as a gift to his grandparents!
Stringing Beads: A great activity for working on motor skills, we love to use pieces of ribbon, twine or string and multi-colored beads to create fun, colorful jewelry, key chains and do-dads.
Free Play Areas: Sometimes you just need to get out of the house, but with the heat, we’ve found it almost impossible to play outside at the park during the day. So, we’ve recently been spending a lot of time searching out fun, cheap, active things to do. The local mall has a play area with structures to climb on, games to play and carousel rides. Practically all of the fast food places in the area have elaborate play structures, so we’ll pack a little lunch or eat ahead of time and head out to play!
I hope I’ve given you some great ideas for boredom busters in your household.