Idea 13: Make a Matching Game. Really, this prompt from Highlights is the card game ‘Memory’ by another name, but the idea is to lay down pairs of matching cards, then see how long it takes to find all the matches if you only turn over two cards at a time.
If your child is older and playing solo, then yes the game can hopefully occupy him or her for quite some time! I didn’t exactly get a break, because Travis immediately wanted us to play together. He also was so into the game that he didn’t want to add the element of timing the task. “Let’s just play!” he insisted. Through three rounds in fact. So while I can’t say that this bought me any time to myself, it did bust his boredom!
Idea 14: Writing Redo. First, I challenged Travis to imagine a scene from a favorite movie and give it a different ending. He went right to Star Wars of course, and imagined that young Anakin didn’t win his pod race. (Think about it Star Wars fans; in such a scenario, there might never have been a Darth Vader). Now we combined it with a second prompt from Highlights: to make a scroll. I taped 4 pieces of paper together so Travis had a long scroll to work with.
(Little sister got one, too!)
He loved adding details including Jar Jar Binks feeling sad at the finish, mountains and droids in the background, and more.
This little prompt is great for kids to hone their own storytelling skills, whether you have them use a book or a movie as the starting point.
Idea 15: Doodle Your Day. When the witching hour hit between dinner and bedtime and Travis was sort of flopping around aimlessly, I suggested that he go back and doodle his day. He’s been into drawing stick figures lately, so I knew these simple sketches would be right up his alley, especially with a new special pen!
This exercise was great not only artistically, but also for thinking back through his day. “What do we normally do first?” I prompted. “Lunch?” “Well no… What comes before that?”
As he drew, he honed his skills both drawing and recollecting. “Here we are at the restaurant, but our faces are circles because you can only see our heads sitting around the table,” he explained.
Idea 16: Learn How Something is Made. When I suggested to Travis that we find a YouTube video of how something was made – anything! – Travis chose Lego (of course). We watched a fascinating video on the machines that make the Lego pieces themselves (over 1.7 million in an hour!), followed by a more detailed clip about the designers who get to create new sets. A dream job in the making perhaps? Needless to say, this was an instant boredom buster because once the video was done, he trotted over to his Lego sets to play designer.
What would your child want to learn about? We’ll be back tomorrow with more boredom busters!