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Solving the 'I'm Bored' Problem This Summer

There are three words that I am dreading to hear this summer. Three words that I know are coming. Three words that so easily flow from a kid’s lips. Those words are “I am bored.”

I know that at some point during the 12 week break from school, my daughter will inform me that there is absolutely nothing to do. It will happen, it’s just part of being a kid. I can vividly recall when I, myself, said those three words to my own parents. And my dad’s response not only put a stop to my boredom but totally changed my perspective. I would never look at boredom the same way again.

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I was about 10 when I said the dreaded, “I am bored.” Actually thinking of myself at the age I probably said, “Like, I am like, so bored!” My father wisely chided me. “There is no reason for boredom,” he replied. “Everything is fascinating!” He enthusiastically asked me to name one thing that was “boring.” My reply? Dirt.

He then sat me down and gave me an HOUR LONG lecture about the importance and power of dirt. I learned two things from this. One, dirt is an extremely fascinating subject and two, you can find something interesting in almost everything and there is no excuse for our kids to say that they are “bored.”

But, trust me, there will indeed be those moments when your child will declare that there is nothing to do. And those moments always seem to come when you are busy doing other things like working from home, cooking dinner or, say, trying to stop a fire from destroying the house. That is why us parents need to plan ahead, and that is just what I’m going to do in the creation of an "Emergency Craft and Activity Kit."

Dude, it’s Rainbow Loom.

First, get a sturdy box and have your kids decorate it, making it a project in itself. Make the box as un-boring as possible! Then fill it with a variety of things but don’t let your kids see what you put in there, that way there will be an element of surprise. Now, the box will have to be age appropriate, so all the items will vary but here is what I’m putting in our Emergency Craft and Activity Kit for my 8-year-old girl. And no, there are no DVDs or video games, these are all “off-line” activities.

My Little Pony coloring/activity books

These books are just a buck at Michael's, plus she is totally obsessed with My Little Pony, so there’s that.

Fresh watercolor set and special paper

There is something about a new set of paints, perhaps it is that there is so much potential of what masterpieces could soon be created.

Glitter and glue

You cannot go wrong with glitter, and glue keeps it in one place

A bag of beads and a long piece of string

To make a piece of jewelry, which is always fulfilling—and time consuming.

New pack of Rainbow Loom bands

Dude, it’s Rainbow Loom. All kids love Rainbow Loom.

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Fresh colored pencils, blank cards, envelopes and stamps

To create and send cards to friends and family. It’s also a great way to get them engaged in letter writing.


Go to any big box craft store and you can buy these cute wooden birdhouses for just about a dollar. Use the watercolors, colored pencils and glitter to decorate this adorable little dwelling.

What would you put in your emergency craft kit?

Image via Getty

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