I’m Bored; It’s Raining And I’ve Got Nothing To Do.
We’ve all heard it before, that anguished cry which resonates continually throughout the house on a dull and dreary (and yes, even fine) day; I’m bored… To help stop your children from continually repeating this mantra, we have prepared a list of creative and inexpensive activities and suggestions that are certain to turn ordinary boring days into unforgettable special memories.
It is important to note that it is beneficial for children to be able to play on their own without adult involvement and that opportunities for what is often creative and imaginative play should be encouraged.
A gentle warning; be prepared for some mess. Children find it difficult to play and keep everything tidy at the same time. It is a good idea to have a relaxed attitude towards neatness. After the activity has ended, you can restore order to the room.
- Unearth A Castle or Pirate Ship In Your Lounge Room: Allow the lounge room to be transformed into an enormous castle or pirate ship by utilizing items that you have on hand, such as blankets, quilts, chairs, cushions and large cardboard fruit boxes, etc. Along with numerous dolls and soft toys, you may be invited into the castle/ship to inspect these architectural masterpieces.
- Cardboard Cities: Provide children with all sorts of cardboard materials- egg cartons, fruit boxes, cereal, toothpaste and every other size box that is used for packaging and ask them to build a city. Make available safety scissors, drawing materials and glue sticks and you may be amazed at the results. Whole cities with streets, sports grounds and houses have evolved on our front porch on wet and rainy days. This is a great opportunity for a casual lesson on the importance of recycling.
- Collages: Draw large shapes on construction paper and allow children to cut out the shapes with safety scissors (and practice their fine motor skills). Have on hand previously cut out images from old magazines and wrapping paper along with assorted items such as cut up sponges, feathers, textured paper, glitter and scraps of fabric and lace to paste onto the shapes (e.g. feathers, and numerous textured surfaces are available at craft shops.) In the autumn (fall), take a walk outside; collect some fallen leaves and seedpods to make a beautiful autumn collage.
- Share A Story: Snuggle with children on a comfortable sofa and get ready for an adventure. Read those longer stories that time constraints don’t usually permit at bedtime, perhaps a favourite from your childhood. Better still; make up a story, allowing each child to contribute. Talk about what you’ve read or told and using crayons or felt tipped pens, allow children to draw their own original illustrations pertaining to the story.
- Play Dough and Plasticine: Roll it, squeeze it, squish it, and shape it; anyway you look at it, children love this activity. Please note that this can make a serious mess on carpet and therefore should only be provided on an easily cleaned surface such as timber or tiles. This can also be used in conjunction with toy animals or farm equipment.
Simple Play Dough Recipe: 6 cups plain flour, 3/4 cup salt, 3/4 cup oil, 2 cups water, colour with paint or food colouring (if desired). Simply mix and knead the ingredients in a large bowl.
- The Fancy Dress Box: Have on hand a box, basket, or storage bin that will hold a collection of clothing and accessories suitable for transforming children into the fantasy world of their choice. Items that are useful include scarves, gloves, crowns, homemade or store-bought hats, shoes, old dresses and shirts, and large pieces of material for cloaks. Perhaps the children, using these dress ups would like to put on a show or play for you to watch.
- Teddy Bear Picnic or Party: A blanket, a tea set, some serious teddies and perhaps a dolly or two and you have the makings of a special morning or afternoon. Biscuits and milk make a nice addition.
- The Makeshift Cubby House: Make a cubby house under the kitchen table. For children, that precious area under a kitchen or dining room table is a wonderful space for storing treasures, and doing some general quiet activities, for example building blocks, reading a book or doing a puzzle.
- Colouring 101: Place a huge piece of butcher’s paper on the floor and an old shoebox filled with crayons beside it. This will provide hours of fun and entertainment.
- Crowning Glory: Make a crown using paper bags (or cardboard). If an adult can cut out the crown to the correct size, leave it flat and then the children can decorate it using paints, coloured markers or other craft materials. Minimal adult supervision required.
- Puppetry Magic: Construct a puppet theatre using two cardboard boxes and heavy-duty masking tape. An adult may be required to help with cut outs and basic engineering. Supply odd socks, felt or paper bags and suitable decorations and glue (non-toxic) to make one-of-a-kind puppets. Sit back and enjoy the show.
- Games and Puzzles: Numerous educational and interesting board games and puzzles are available for the older child. If an adult has the time to play with them, this always adds an element of excitement.
- Kitchen Delights: Bake cookies or make pizza and have lessons on measurement at the same time. Eating the results is only half the fun.
- Science Experiments: Depending on your child’s age, assist them with some “Science” experiments. Here are some examples:
On that dreary day remember: go with the flow, don’t let the mess get to you, all suggested activities should keep your brood busy and happy. If all else fails, all members of the family can enjoy a quality movie from your local video store.