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Mom, I’m Bored!

playdoughWith summertime upon us, we have scaled back our daily schoolwork to just basic math and reading. The kids are really glad that it’s finally warming up enough in Minnesota to play outside almost every day, and I’m glad they’re able to spend some of their energy in new ways.

It always amazes me, however, how quickly kids can get bored. I decided to make a list of some activities that all my kids could do together. I typed the list and printed it, then cut it into little pieces. I put all the pieces into a bag, and each morning we draw one activity randomly from the bag.

My list isn’t terribly creative, but in case you’d like to use it as a starting point, here are my ideas:

  1. Make a “love package” to mail to grandparents.
  2. Draw with colored chalk outside.
  3. Draw a map of your neighborhood.
  4. Play the hotter/colder game.
  5. Play with play dough.
  6. Play with modeling clay.
  7. Play the “What’s Missing” game.
  8. Draw pictures of clouds in the sky today.
  9. Make a star map and watch stars tonight.
  10. Plant seeds.
  11. Play UNO or Crazy Eights.
  12. Make musical instrument by filling glass jars with varying amounts of water.
  13. Play the clothespin game.
  14. Choose some food to make from a kids’ cookbook and plan summer menus.
  15. Make paper-bag puppets.
  16. Give some toys a bubble bath outside.
  17. Paint some rocks.
  18. Play with water balloons.
  19. Play “Fingerprint Matching” game.
  20. Play a board game you haven’t played lately.
  21. Put together a puzzle.
  22. Look at slides under a microscope.
  23. Play alphabet bingo.
  24. Play word bingo.
  25. Learn how to do paper cutting.
  26. Have a treasure hunt.
  27. Plan a pretend vacation to another country.
  28. Play in the sprinkler.
  29. Take a bubble bath.
  30. Give the dog a bath.
  31. Wash the car.
  32. Copy a picture from a book.
  33. Play kickball.
  34. Play Frisbee golf.
  35. Bake cookies.
  36. Watch an ant colony eat food crumbs.
  37. Make presents for an upcoming birthday.
  38. Make our family tree.
  39. Make Flat Stanleys.
  40. Do square foot observations. (Each person has 10 minutes to observe one square foot of ground outside, then he tries to draw what he observed from memory.)

If you need even more ideas, check out this list of “Over 200 Summertime Activities” by Deborah Taylor-Hough. (Some ideas are repeated there.)

My P.E. Curriculum also has a list of both indoor and outdoor games that the whole family can enjoy.


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  1. Love this list, it is funny how easy kids seem to have the I am bored syndrome. I am going to post this list for my big kids to refer to.

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