2/3 of my kids are already home for the summer. Diesel has a week left. I can feel the carefree days calling us. I can also hear my kids calling and telling me they are bored and if they can watch TV. “Please! Can I just check to see if there are new episodes of [insert whatever show they think of here]?”
Thankfully I am armed this year my screen-free boredom buster bingo boards! With these ideas (that the boys helped think up) and a few of my own ideas, I am HOPING the kids can find some way to entertain themselves through these long, lazy days.
*This page contains affiliate links.
“The Why” Recap
My kids are getting older and more independent. It’s great because their creativity has the potential of also expanding. They used to build a small tent and now they are building a castle and it spans the whole basement. They have great ideas, but everyone hits a point where they get bored.
Boredom isn’t a bad thing! I have read more and more about how kids SHOULD be bored. Boredom is where creativity come alive! Unfortunately, we are finding kids are less and less creative these days than they were years ago.
Maybe that is because we as parents don’t give kids the freedom they need to be creative. We fill the kids days with activities. When they come to us saying they are bored we throw on the TV or stop what we are doing and play with them.
I love playing with my kids, but sometimes I need to get things done! I also think they need to learn to entertain themselves and not rely on me to bring them entertainment.
Using our screen-free boredom buster bingo boards my kids now have something to turn to that will give them ideas to beat the boredom! Some might think, “wait, aren’t you giving them a plan for their boredom?” In fact, no I am not. My kids helped me come up with the plan. These boards were a joint effort so it includes ideas they want to do as well as ones I think they would enjoy (and I approve of).
And when I feel they need a little education thrown into their summer I will turn to my friend Ginny’s life skills board!
Get the Bingo Boards Below!
The Prep Work
In order to gradually ween my kids off of my entertainment support, I went ahead and prepped a few boredom buster areas for them.
We have books all over the house. So the kids are not hurting to find one to read. I do, however, have book boxes. These book boxes have independent level reading material that the boys can go to and read without my help.
Diesel is reading chapter books now so I put some books he may find interesting in his book box. Rocket is an emergent reader. He cannot read too many books independently. He has the Bob Books we have read MANY times together, some books he made at school (repetitive text), Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? in his box.
We have several independent strategy games that the kids can play with when they are bored. Sometimes I need to get involved, but that is usually once they are getting to a point where they have done a few and are now at a level that is becoming frustrating. Which basically means they should stop for the day, but they don’t exactly like to hear that soo… I have to step in.
Rush Hour, Jr. and Camelot, Jr. are great independent strategy games. Both games have the player solving a problem by moving pieces around. If the kid gets stuck, clues and the answer are on the back on the cards.
How To Build An A is a book that comes with foam shapes. The book shows the reader how to use the foam shapes to form letters. Rocket enjoys this activity and loves when he figures out how to form the letters.
Shape By Shape is like tangrams. An image is shown and the child must use the shapes to build the image.
To avoid the summer slump try using some of these ideas.
A Moleskin is a writing book. Diesel likes to write in his because it makes him feel like a “real writer.” One can use any composition book, but I think a classic writing book adds a bit to the experience. I also find Diesel is encouraged to write more often as a result.
An Abacus is a great way to review math. I use flashcards and have the boys use the abacus, if need be, to find the answer. They also like to use the abacus to count on their own.
When all else fails, get out the paper and crayons! Have them draw the most exciting thing that happened that day. Or their favorite animal. Or invent something. Whatever they want to do!
How It Is Going
While I’d like to say things are going great! They are, in reality, going OK. The boards are out and my prep work is there. The boys still have a tendency to ask to watch TV. I don’t expect this to change too much, but now I can send them on their way with ideas to decide how to entertain themselves! Once I remind them of our plan they usually do a great job of finding a way of entertaining themselves without the TV.