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Mom, I'm Bored! Free Activities for Children

Simple Living (featured column)
by Deann Curtis

We've all been there, haven't we?  The three day weekend that was one day too long or the snowy Christmas break that turned out to be rainy instead.  Either way, we all know what it means to stuck at home, with "nothing" to do.  The challenge is to find something fun to do, without going out and buying something.

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Our children are experts at finding fun things to do.  Why are they experts?  Because they practice so often.  Plus with eight children, we have gotten pretty good at keeping them busy.  Here are just a few of our ideas for a rainy day stuck inside with nothing to do.

Have a Game Day

Choose a family favorite and play it tournament style.  If your family is too small for a tournament, you could have a game marathon, playing several games in a row.  Don't forget to supplement the play with a snack or two, otherwise the children will get worn out and cranky.

Go on a Picnic

It may be raining out, but that doesn't mean you can't have a picnic.  Start in the kitchen by preparing your picnic together.  You could have sandwiches cut up small, any leftover bits of salad that you might have, bite size pieces of fruit, juice and any dessert that you have on hand.  Then simply spread out your picnic blanket on the floor and enjoy your time together.

Put on a Concert for Each Other

Have the children get all dressed up in their Sunday best, some costumes or a funny get-up that they come up with by going through the closets and mixing and matching some silly outfits.  Have them practice a couple of their favorite songs.  Then create a stage area at one end of the living room and put folding chairs at the other end.  They could even make up some tickets and programs for their special concert.

Have a Tea Party

Children love to have a fancy party.  Let them get dressed up using your old clothes that you would otherwise donate to a thrift store.  Be sure to include some hats too.  You can serve the tea using either a children's set or a family set.  Serve a few cookies and some cut up fruit along with the tea.  Set the mood further by playing some background music.  Don't forget to remind the children to practice their best manners at the party.

Set up an Art Studio

You don't have to be fancy with art and you don't have to have everything just so, to get started.  Just come up with a few ideas and go from there.  You could set out some bottles of glue, old magazines and paper to make collages.  Or, you could set out paper lunch bags, markers, your button jar, yarn and some glue for a puppet making station.  Another idea would be to have an art contest using a particular medium.  Be sure to present ribbons to each entrant.

Do a Beauty Makeover

Get all the girls together for a day of pampering.  Start off with a bath, then style or comb each other's hair according to each person's ability.  Do pedicures and manicures for each other too.

Create Treats for Nature Friends

Even on a rainy, boring day, our bird friends need to eat.  You could make a garland of bird treats to string up on an outside tree.  You could use dried fruit, popcorn or cranberries.  You could also spread peanut butter on the outside of a toilet paper tube, then dip it in bird seed.  Just slip a piece of yarn through it, then you will be able to hang it up outside for the birds.

As you can see, it really is possible to have fun when you are stuck inside on a boring, nothing to do day.  The really hard part is deciding which project to do.  But, whatever you do, just remember to keep it fun and simple.  That way it will be fun for you too!

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