Submitted by Emily Patterson on behalf of Primrose Schools: Providing educational child care services for your
Most parents face the same question every weekend…or even every day. What is there to do?? I’m bored! And the
challenging task for parents is to first come up with some activities or games to keep them busy and then on top of that,
one that actually requires them to use their brains. On top of that for parents who must work within a tight budget or
those single parents, this challenge seems even greater. A little creativity and planning is what is needed for families in
Children need a chance to have some down time and some choice in what they would like to do. So when they complain
that there is nothing to do sit down and brainstorm some ideas about what they would like to be doing or could do.
Challenge your children to come up with new, fun and free or cheap ideas for the summer. Make a list on poster board or
make some other graphic to display for all to see, and take ideas from it when the first anyone utters “I’m bored”.
Provide a space and materials for your child to do arts and crafts. You do not need to purchase fancy art supplies. Items
you have around your house make excellent creative material. Think toilet paper rolls, scraps of paper, old magazines and
popsicle sticks. Add just a few inexpensive purchased supplies like glue, feathers and markers, and your little artist will
have everything he or she needs. If you or your child need some inspiration, look to the internet for a wealth of art and
craft ideas and templates.
Provide items for playing dress up. Search through your own closet and perhaps thrift stores for great dress up materials.
Your children can enjoy hours of free imaginative play this way. Or encourage your children to put together special
performances they can put on for the rest of the family. They can dress up and put on special plays, or you can either
provide or help your children make puppets and encourage them to put on puppet shows.
Nurture your children’s listening skills and help build a love of nature by spending quiet time outside. Point out what
sounds you are hearing and challenge your children to name all of the sounds they hear when they are very quiet. The
sounds of nature are often taken for granted, so encouraging quiet listening and enjoying nature together is a valuable
Is there anything more fun than building a fort and hiding out in it? If your child is bored and you aren’t up for a
complicated activity or a big outing, suggest that your children gather household materials and build a fort. You might
even make a competition out of it and tell your children you will vote on the best fort when they have finished. Finding
ways to turn regular household items into cool forts is a great way to practice creativity and problem solving skills.
Read to your children every day. To encourage a love of reading and build literacy skills, there is no substitute for reading
to young children or having older children read often. Eventually instead of thinking they are bored, they’ll just reach for a
Make A Game of It
A Scavenger hunt is a great activity for kids and even adults of all ages. For young children, you can plan a simple hunt for
them around your home or yard. For older children, you could ask them to create a scavenger hunt for you or a younger
Parents often get so busy that when their children comes to them bored and want something to do, we simply just put
it off or go tell them to play outside or just go watch TV. But with a little preparation you’ll have an activity to suggest
they do…and even more so you’ll feel great about it since it will be something that is educational and something that isn’t
hurting your wallet!