Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Instead Of Screen Time

The other day a friend linked to a blog post about unplugging your kids and giving them fun things to do as an alternative to screen time. I clicked through and found the typical suggestions of reading and drawing and writing a story. However, the author of that particular post must live in perpetual sunshine because she had "go to the beach" and "build a sandcastle" and "run through the sprinkler" on her list. While I appreciate the ideas, my kids ask to do these things on a regular basis and if I had "run through the sprinkler" posted on a suggestion of activities, my kids would do it. In February.

I decided to check around for other kick-the-boredom suggestions and do you know what I found?


Here are a few of the more outrageous ideas I found right next to "clean your room" and "play with stuffed animals" for KIDS to do.

Skip everywhere you go for one full day
Already do that. Still bored
Get a group together and break the world record in something.
There is absolutely no way this is a good idea for my children. I would like my kids to be alive, my family to stay out of jail and my bank account to still have funds at the end of the day. I am really happy with super ordinary, non-record setting kids.
Become a clown and visit nursing homes
Or, act like a clown and terrify people in nursing homes.
Raise a caterpillar into a butterfly and release
You might as well put "watch grass grow" on the list.
Grow a frog from a tadpole
See above. But then you have a bored kid with a frog. Not a good combo.
Paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling
What?! Even if you follow the directions, cover the underside of your table with newsprint, protect your floor and let the kids paint naked, they will STILL HAVE PAINT IN THEIR EYES!!
Go on a candy hunt
Which means I have to hide the candy, keep the kids from fighting over the candy, not eat all the candy myself and make sure they find all the candy or next week they can play "build a better mousetrap," which is also a suggestion I found.
Have a circus
Also known as "torture the cat" and "hurt your little sister" and "ruin something that doesn't belong to you."
Learn to batik
For. Real.
When I was through laughing hysterically at the suggestions obviously not made by actual parents raising actual children in an actual real-life family, I dried my eyes and thought about what I'd put on my own list.

My kids playing Alligator with a friend in the living room, a typical boredom cure around here. 
The Criteria:
1. All activities must be accomplished without the aid of an adult. If I'm bored we can make cookies or drive somewhere. If the kids are bored they need to entertain themselves.
2. All activities must be able to occur, and be cleaned up, in one sitting. I don't want to hang up a list that should really be titled How To Make A Mess When You're Bored.
3. All activities must be free.

Here is my list in color or B&W.


This list will be displayed prominently and will be THE answer to boredom in my house.

For a day.


  1. Thanks for the laughs!
    I need some new ideas too, have already been told that my list is boring in its entirety.

    1. Thanks Cynthia! Did you notice your kid in the picture on this post?

  2. I'm so glad you're blogging again! I had removed you from my daily blog bookmarks, but you're back in there now. :-) Also, they could wear goggles while they paint.

    1. I'm glad to be back!

      And yes, my kids would love to wear goggles while painting clothes-less under the kitchen table.

  3. Haha... !!! You can go do batik with watercolor and white crayon or tapered white candles. You can also use white glue and paint... All on their own. :)

    1. Guess I'm bringing my kids to you the next time they're bored :-)

      You've got SKILLS!!

  4. I love this but we have a list in our house too.... its household chores. Son 1 is now 14 and a few months ago he said he was bored, I informed him of washing that needed hanging on he clothes horse, folding, ironing and the dishwasher and floors that all need doing. Roll on a few months later, son 2 who is 10 says I am bored, you have never heard son 1 jump up and shout dont say that the list will come out;-)


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