Kids can create a Not Bored Board to combat school holiday boredom

Kids Boredom Buster

‘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.

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. 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.

If you have a child / children off school over the summer months and want to do more than just SURVIVE the school holidays, don’t miss out! I’ve used these strategies for many years and have taught them to hundreds of others – THEY WORK. 

For additional Power Posse support through the whole summer, and access to my Summer stategy workshop (LIVE on June 17th with recordings available afterwards) – check out Project WE* – my private online membership club.




* You can easily cancel your membership at any time. There are no obligations, making it easy for you to give it a try!

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? 

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  1. Pam on June 22, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    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!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on June 22, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      Thanks for your great comment Pam. Yes, I’m a big believer in allowing kids to entertain themselves. 🙂

  2. Clare Greig on June 22, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    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. Kelly Marsden on June 23, 2014 at 10:14 AM

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

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on June 23, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      You’re welcome Kelly! Mine love lists too. Wonder where they get that from…..? 😉

  4. Aparna on June 23, 2014 at 9:48 PM

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

  5. Kelly Pietrangeli on June 23, 2014 at 10:43 PM

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

  6. Stacey on June 24, 2014 at 4:42 PM

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

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on June 24, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      Glad you like it Stacey! Yes, it’s good to give the kids a chance to create it themselves (instead of the chore charts WE make!) Hope it’s a success in your house too 🙂

  7. Sally on June 24, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    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).

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on June 25, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      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. Nichi Kuechle on June 26, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    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!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on June 26, 2014 at 7:43 PM

      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 on March 30, 2015 at 6:16 PM

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

  11. Kelly Pietrangeli on March 30, 2015 at 8:15 PM

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

  12. Susan on July 6, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    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!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on July 8, 2015 at 12:15 PM

      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 on July 9, 2015 at 6:52 PM

    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.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on July 12, 2015 at 5:30 PM

      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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