"Mom, I'm bored. There's nothing to do!"
Do you hate those words as much as I do? I'm thinking you do.
Here's what I really want to say in response,
Listen up, my sweet snowflake. It is not my job to entertain you. I have real work to do that my company is paying me to do, so that I can foot the bill for your swimming pool and ice cream truck habits and buy all those toys you think you need.
Also, it is good for you to be bored. It builds character and creativity, and eventually, I know you will find something to do. So suck it up and be bored and let your brain work. It won't kill you.
I don't say any of that, mostly because their eyes would glaze over right after the word "It is not my job to entertain you," and also because I try to be really nice and kind and gentle with my fragile snowflakes.
But seriously. It is not my job to entertain my kids. I really do have a job to do, and I really am getting paid to do it for approximately 8 hours a day.
So my kids need to deal with it and find themselves something to do.
It's not your job to entertain your kids, either.
Meet your new best friend:
I was so tired of hearing
Mom, I'm bored!
that I created 42 cards, each featuring 3-5 different interesting, wholesome, non-screen activities that my kids could do.
- Ride your bike.
- Read a book.
- Make astronaut pudding.
- Publish a newspaper.
- Have a dance party.
- Play in the hose.
- Play water balloon dodgeball.
Listen, friend. These things are not rocket science. I bet you did almost all of them when you were a kid who entertained herself and played outside without adult supervision in the good old days of the world.
Trust me, I hear you.
But your kids don't know.
They don't know what it was like to run around the neighborhood and not come home until the street lights come on.
They don't know what it's like to get so far away from home that you had to call collect on a payphone and ask for a ride back (just me? okay, maybe).
They don't know what it's like to get so lost in a book that they forget about eating lunch and dinner.
They just don't know because their creativity and energy have been sucked up by screens.
It doesn't have to be that way.
Give your kids the gift of boredom this year. Take their screens away and give them these cards and put in some earplugs until the whining is over.
They will make wonderful memories, and you'll feel peace of mind knowing that you gave them just the push they needed to get out and have a real-life life instead of being stuck in YouTube or video games all summer.
You'll all be able to look back and marvel at all the things they did. They might complain now, but someday, they'll thank you for it.
The Nuts & Bolts of 150 Screen-Free Activities for Kids
What's on these cards?
As I said above, these are simple, easy, and fun things that any kid, tween, or teen can do. You can see a few examples in the photos on this page.
The activities are broken up into the following categories:
- For being outside
- For staying inside
- For eating
- For stretching your brain
- For competing (games & contests)
- For laughing
- For sharing kindness
- For getting creative
What's the age range for these cards?
I wouldn't recommend these cards for kids who can't read (all. those. words.), although if you're going to do the activities with your kiddos, there's no reason that little ones couldn't use them too.
That said, I intended the cards for kids about 6 through 15 or so. There are things like Play-Doh that older kids might not love and things like camp out in the backyard that might not work for the younger ones, but for the most part, the activities span the whole age range just beautifully.
Will I receive anything in the mail?