Kids Boredom Buster

Kids Boredom Buster
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‘I’m bored.’ ‘I don’t know what to do.’   Sound familiar?

Inevitable words out of the mouths of our kids during the school break.

It’s great to organise trips, days out and social get togethers but don’t feel you have schedule their every move. Children need the time and space to transition from busy school routines to laid back livin’. It’s ok to feel a bit bored sometimes, they just have to find their own way out of it. (And that doesn’t have to mean endless hours glued to Minecraft.

A few summers ago I pre-empted the cries of boredom by getting my kids to create a Not Bored Board. It worked a treat and has become an annual tradition.

Here’s how:

  • Grab a notebook. Get your child brainstorming their ideas for things to do at home that doesn’t involve electronic devices.
  • Divide it into sections:  Things to do alone  – read, puzzles, art, lego, play solitaire, listen to music, build a fort, take photos or videos, work on their Vision Board. Things to do with siblings – board/card games, make believe / dressing up, trains, cars, dolls, outdoor games and sports, singing, dancing, talent show, hide & seek. Things to do with you – games, sewing, arts and crafts, cooking/baking.
  • Next, give them a big piece of poster board to turn their brainstorm session into an art project. They can write, draw, clip photos from magazines or print from the internet.
  • Proudly hang the Not Bored Board and refer to it whenever they’re stuck for what to do.

*After I hit publish on this post I saw that the fabulous Dr. Laura Markham of Aha! Parenting has also posted a blog about boredom busters today! Check out her great list in case your kids need a few more ideas.

Top tip: The most effective time to do this is before school breaks up, when they’re still dreaming about how great all of that free time will be!

A bored child really struggles to think of anything to do and your suggestions never seem to appeal. Get them to create their board before they’re bored and the ideas come fast and furious.

While they’re off occupying themselves, use the time to get your own things done and to have a little me time. (Read How to Create Your Best Summer Yet to make this happen!) You’ll have more energy and patience when you get small breaks from the kiddie action. Fact. 

Reward your children for periods of entertaining themselves by having quality time with you afterwards. No checking emails, Facebook or prepping dinner. They’ll soon learn that by occupying themselves for a while each day, they’ll have your undivided attention later. Good for them – and you.

Have you got your hands on my freeeee Summer Strategy Kit yet? 26 gorgeous colourful printable PDF’s for you and the kids to plot out your BEST summer yet. All yours for the taking. Just pop your first name and email address into the box below, then check for the confirmation email.


Not Board Board

And the kit contains a mini Not Bored Board printable – isn’t it cute?


For future goodies, pop your name and email address into the box below. I’ll send you the free Life Wheel Tool for finding a better balance straight away.


In the comments below, share your thoughts on kids and boredom. Do you tend to schedule in a lot of fun or leave them to figure it out? Are they hooked on electronic games? Do you think they’d go for making a Not Bored Board? What ideas can you add? 

Please share on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter!


Kelly Pietrangeli

Kelly Pietrangeli

Mama Motivator at Project Me
Kelly Pietrangeli is the creator of Project Me for Busy Mothers, helping women find a happier balance between the kids - and everything else.

Mixing practicality with self-awareness, Kelly helps mothers get on top of their endless to-do’s and see life beyond the laundry pile. Grab her free Life Wheel Tool for discovering what needs your focus first.
Kelly Pietrangeli

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Tell Us What You Think.

21 Responses to Kids Boredom Buster

  1. Pam says:

    Kelly, I love the name of the board and the way you divided it into sections. I was just talking with a friend about how lots of parents are constantly on the go with their kids and don’t give them opportunities to entertain themselves or just “be.” I love this idea…I’ll be sharing it on FB!

  2. Clare Greig says:

    This is brilliant. I need this for my 5 year old who starts school next year. He gets bored at home so this is perfect x.

  3. What a great idea, my children love creating lists so i’ll get them onto this to fill those ‘bored’ moments. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Aparna says:

    Kelly, love the idea. I’m definitely going to get my girls to do this one….thank you so so much!

  5. Aparna – tell your girls they can send me a photo of their Not Bored Board and I’ll post it on Facebook :)

  6. Stacey says:

    What a wonderful idea! I have tried different types of lists over the summer, but I like this one because the kids create it!

  7. Sally says:

    Wonderful idea. I love it! My daughter is a little younger – she’s 3. But I’m thinking I can adapt the idea by clipping art or drawing pictures (instead of writing a list).

    • Definitely Sally! Younger ones love cutting out pictures and drawing and it’ll give her a great visual array of fun things to choose from. I’d love to see a photo of her Not Bored Board!

  8. This is such a great idea. The girls and I started a family vision board last year as a New Year’s Eve project-and we just included the things we know are important in my husbands life. I love seeing it every time I head to our basement hanging right there on the wall, such a great reminder of what we’re up to!

    • Glad you like the idea Nichi! And our Family Vision board hangs in our basement hallway (it’s actually a loooooong table cloth!) and every time I walk past it I get such a big smile on my face :) Thanks for your lovely comment. x

  9. […] weapon for keeping the kids happily occupied so I can have a bit of time to myself each day? Click here for my Boredom Buster! (No, it doesn’t involve handing them an iPad or parking them in front of the […]

  10. Michala says:

    Just sent photo of my girls doing their boards. They’ve done their own vision boards before but love this idea. Thanks Kelly.

  11. You’re so welcome Michala!
    Where did you send the photo? I don’t see it – and I’d live to!

  12. Susan says:

    I went to a workshop with this guy Lawrence Cohen who wrote
    ” Playful Parenting”..
    He talked about letting children work through the “boredom” and finding that creative place and. often,….this is when the best play can occur. It is sometimes rocky before you see them find that space where much can happen! I’ve tried it and it worked. Right at the moment I was ready to put the TV on or try to find something to occupy space…. My son found tin foil and created a pretend computer and he made a robot he was proud of. (Now tgey r Tweens and I’m entering a new difficult phase! Ugh. When they were younger, we watched little TV and they were much more creative than now!

    • I love what you’ve written here so much Susan! I’ve had the same experience of NRARLY intervening in boredom, only to find that they have worked through it and gone on to do something really amazing. Love your story of your son and the robot!

      Hey – I hear you too on the tween thing. Mine are teens now and yes, sadly the old play is fading. It’s fun when we have younger friends over though because I get to see their old playful creative selves emerge again!

  13. Kerry Bower says:

    I love the whole project me summer strategy, and especially the not bored board. I have three children aged between 2 3/4, and 10 so have adapted to into a ‘boredom buster bowl’. We have a list of fun things that we can in the holidays already, so I have written some of these plus a few extra from the older’s brainstorming session onto squares of paper which I will laminate, cut up and put in a bowl. The idea is that they can pick one from the bowl if they need to. There are a few surprises in the list for the too just to keep it interesting.

    • That is such a cute idea Kerry! I’m so happy you’ve shared this and will pass on this great twist on my Facebook page. I’m happy you loved the summer strategy kit and hope you all have a wonderful summer :)

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