Monday, December 27, 2010

Boredom Busters

Written for Triad Mom's on Main

I don't know about you, but my kids get antsy when they are stuck inside and can't get all their extra energy out. With the snowy weather we've had lately, I've been thinking a lot about this and so I compiled a list of some rainy day ideas that we use to beat boredom at our house.

X Marks the Spot

My daughter has a game she likes to play. She'll get my husband to draw a "map" of our house on a dry erase board and then he hides an object somewhere in the house. He marks an X on the location of the object on the map and we see how fast she can find it. This requires her to demonstrate map-reading skills, including following directions, judging distances, and reading a legend (if he includes one). We actually haven't played this one in a while, but I saw something recently that reminded me of it so we might hit up the Target dollar bin for some prizes and break out the dry erase board again soon.

Memory Tray

I place 10 to 20 various objects that can be found around the house on a tray and I give my daughter one minute to look at the tray. Then I cover it up and see how many of the objects she can list back to me. Next we switch. She takes a turn finding the objects around the house and puts them on the tray for me to look at while she times me. I list back to her as many as I can remember. This tests our memory and my daughter gets to practice her time-keeping skills. Not surprisingly, she often remembers more of the objects than I do!

Cleaner Than Play Dough

This one really works best for preschoolers, but I will often give my four year old a quirt or two of shaving cream and let her play with it on our island bar. It's very easy to clean up with only a wet rag and as an added bonus, she smells lovely afterward.

Thumbprint Art

Grab an ink pad and make thumbprint art. Kids of any age can do this if they have a little imagination. Ed Emberley has some wonderful examples on his site and there are a nice variety of his books at our local library. Plus, thumbprint art makes a great gift in cards, bookmarks, and on gift wrap!

Kids in the Kitchen

Rainy days are some of the best days to whip up a kid-friendly recipe. We've made trail mix, whale sandwiches, chocolate dipped Oreo's made to look like pumpkins or Easter Eggs, Tic-Tac-Toe pizzas, etc, etc. There are lots of ideas all around the internet but most of our successes have been making things that we would already typically be making and just adding a kid-friendly aspect to it, like cutting the cheese into shapes for a pizza.

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