June 19, 2014

Boredom Busters that Teach Kids Responsibility

Are your kids getting bored this summer? When we moved out here to the middle of nowhere people often asked "What do you do for fun, don't you get bored?" Actually, No. I don't get bored.  And here's why. There are lots of things you can do to stay busy, no matter where you are. 

Here is my list, that will keep kids busy all summer.

 1. Get them a pet. Feeding, playing with and cleaning up after any animal takes time and teaches them to care for something else. It also teaches them how we treat animals and all of God's creations. Best of all, it brings a smile to their faces!

2. Get them into 4-H. There are literally hundreds of projects, and not all of them have to do with animals.

3.  Assign them a part of the garden, or give them their own garden space. If you don't have the space, grow plants in pots. It doesn't take a lot of space to grow herbs and flowers. Once again they will learn to take care of a living thing. They may even like to eat their vegetables after growing them!

4. Give them outside chores, like watering trees or flowers, mowing lawn, sweeping garage or walkways. Have them do things you would have to do. It lightens your load and keeps them busy.

5.  Let them build a fort. Even a card board box can be decorated and have windows. It gives an outlet for their creativity and gives them somewhere to play. It also helps them want to keep their "personal property" clean and tidy.
 6. Whenever possible take them to work with you, or send them with a grandparent, a trusted friend or neighbor. They learn that everyone has work to do. They also learn to respect others and their property.

7. Assign them to be in charge of entertaining a younger sibling for the day. This will keep them busy and teach them to care for others feelings above their own.

8. Send them on a scavenger hunt. They will learn to follow directions, look for detail and discover how fun and interesting nature is.

9. Go on hikes or walks to see things up close. Appreciate all nature has to offer. Exercise is always good!

10. Let them help with the grocery list and shopping. Then teach them how to prepare food. Sure it takes time and effort. But before you know it they will be fixing YOU a meal. This will help their confidence soar! They become independent.

11. Give them inside chores. We all live here, we all help keep it clean. Period. You may have to deal with a little whining and complaining... for a while. But if you teach them early and are consistent, they will catch on quickly and be more compliant.

12. Let them do sports. From jump rope to swimming lessons. Bike riding to golf. It takes practice to be good at something. This will give them something to do. They can play with each other, which gives everyone something to do. Large motor skills, small motor skills, exercise, self control, respect for others, what more can I say about the benefits of sports?

13. Board games. Often they learn to take turns, manage their resources, and sit still for a little while.

14. Learn a musical instrument. You can buy a toy recorder for a dollar. Harmonicas are not expensive. Even a kazoo will do. How about learning to whistle and mimic birds? I still want to learn to whistle loud with my fingers.

15. Go to the library. Read to them, let them read. They learn that others share and to take care of things that don't belong to them.

We are constantly busy around here. I don't miss the movies, shopping, or other expensive activities it seems you have to do when you don't live in the middle of nowhere. Neither does my bank account.

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