Get Your Free I’m Bored Activity List to Save Sanity This Summer
Do you take a long summer break from homeschooling? If so, you NEED the I’M BORED Activity List!
Because we live on a farm that requires a lot of attention in the summer, it’s always been necessary to take a “traditional” long break from school. Even though we stay busy with farm, mowing, and gardening tasks, there is still plenty of time for children younger than 13 to say, “I’m bored!”
While I certainly appreciate reading good books aloud on the porch swing and playing board games under a shade tree, I don’t have time to be the constant director of activity or playmate for bored children.
Many years ago, I started creating a yearly list of 100 activities that my children could do instead of telling me they were bored. While it has never stopped those dreaded words completely, it has drastically reduced them.
Don’t think that just because I write a fancy list, my children actually use it! Sadly, no. There’s always been a little bribery involved.
Making a Summer Boredom List Work
Sometimes, I write the 100 activities on little slips of paper and put them in a jar. Other times, I write out a giant list and hang it on the refrigerator. Either way, each child collects slips or highlights activities as they are completed.
Depending on the ages of my children, once 10 or 20 are finished, there’s some kind of small treat involved – a stop at the ice cream cream shop, a friend over for the afternoon, or extra x-box time.
Once all 100 are finished, there’s a much bigger treat – a trip to the drive-in theater or local water park, for instance.
I only have one child under 13 these days. Over the years, though, all the kids (and I) have had a great time with the list. It’s helped them to stay independently busy without whining, and given me some time to take care of all those summer to-dos.
A Couple of Summer Activity List Notes
When I had more than one child under 13, everyone had their own list most summers. Occasionally, I would let the kids share the list when everyone was equally excited about it.
When everything on the list is completed and there are still plenty of days left in summer break, the list gets printed again. There are enough varied activities that it isn’t a big deal to repeat anything.
I have allowed (and even expected) older kids to create their own list of 100 things after the first one is finished. You’ll notice below that some of the items are chores rather than simple fun and games. I have always found it hilarious that their own created lists also included chores.
I have definitely created different lists for different ages. The list you will find below works well with children who are at least seven or older.
I’m Bored Summer Activity List
To get you started creating your own list, here is a sample of one I created that you are welcome to print and use in your home if it works for you.
Notice that not every activity is what most kids might consider “fun”. Chores and light schoolwork fit the bill, too. The way I see it, if my children are really bored and need me to come up with a list, then anything goes. (Wink.)
100 Things To Do If I’m Bored
- ride a bike
- take a nature walk
- do an experiment
- play an instrument
- play a board game
- clean your room
- wash windows
- do a craft
- play a card game
- organize a book shelf
- make a recipe
- do a devotional
- call a friend
- write a letter
- play dress up
- do a puzzle
- make a mask
- listen to music
- weed the flowers
- water the flowers
- make up a story
- act out a story
- make up a song
- listen to a book on tape
- bird watch
- do leaf rubbings
- graph the number of bugs you see in an hour
- collect seeds
- actually play with your toys
- do origami
- create a Bible lesson to teach to a younger child
- play a computer game
- organize the refrigerator
- read a magazine
- dig in the garden
- look up a word you don’t know in the dictionary and try to use it throughout the day
- collect rocks
- paint rocks
- write a Christmas wish list
- make bubbles
- jump rope
- play in water
- mop a bathroom
- organize a drawer in your room
- paint a picture
- watch the clouds go by
- make a prayer journal
- teach your dogs a trick
- experiment with new hairstyles
- make some beaded jewelry
- take a treat to a neighbor
- wash the car
- build something from wood scraps
- plant seeds
- practice a play to put on for your parents
- do jumping jacks
- wash dishes
- play hide and go seek
- build with Lego blocks
- play cowboys and Indians
- pull out your spy journals
- sort shells
- play with pattern blocks
- set up a picture studio
- make play dough
- make a healthy snack
- plan a party
- write a grocery list for Mom
- memorize a poem and tell it to someone
- play school
- design an outfit
- set up a store for your family to shop
- help an elderly neighbor with a job around their house
- make an instrument
- take a nap
- take a long bubble bath
- vacuum the van
- make clay boats to sail
- make your own 100 things to do list
- do a crossword puzzle
- write and illustrate a story
- study an artist and try one of his or her pieces
- make silly faces in the mirror
- jump on the trampoline
- make puppets
- organize pictures
- go through toys and choose some to give away
- go through clothes and bag up the ones that are too small
- make cards for you family or friends
- draw the clouds in the sky
You may have noticed that a few of the activities require supplies or instructions. For instance, to “do origami” children will need a book or website with directions and some paper supplies.
As I create my list, I think about what resources I have on hand that might make good boredom busters. I typically create a summer bookshelf or box of goodies that contain most of the supplies necessary.
My children have always had free access to the art supplies, too.
Print My Summer Boredom List
If the ideas on the list above sound like good ones for your children, feel free to print my list for your refrigerator!
Enjoy your summer break! It should be at least a little easier now. 😉
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