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“We’ve been home together for so long now and my kids are tired of Zoom and online things, and so am I. What can I do to give my kids a way to find something to do when they get bored?
First, we need to remember that it’s okay to be bored. We tend to avoid silence and boredom, but in those “There’s nothing to do!” moments imagination comes alive and creativity is sparked. Sometimes the best way to answer the calls of “I’m bored” is with not providing solutions, but just nodding and saying “I love bored.” This allows children (and the rest of us) to look deep inside, find our sense of self and begin to create just like the God who created us.
But sometimes we all need a place to start, so with that in mind, try the following:
Take a box or jar or other container and fill it with slips of paper with ideas similar to those below.
1. Make up a dance to a song. Teach it to an adult.
2. Make up motions for the words of Joshua 1:9. Do them while you say the verse. Then just do the actions while you think the verse.
3. Make up a secret handshake.
4. Build a fort by draping a large bed sheet or blanket over a table or some chairs. Eat a snack and read a book inside it.
5. Scavenger Hunt! How many blue things can you find in your house in 15 minutes? Make your own list and keep the game going.
6. Collect five things from nature outside. Make something with them.
7. Read Psalm 23 and illustrate it, either on your own or as a family mural.
8. Backwards Day! Turn your clothes around, spell and say your name backwards and eat dessert before dinner.
9. Plan and have an indoor picnic.
10. Create a comic strip about your family.
11. What’s your favorite book? Make up a story about what comes next after the story ends.
12. Read a Bible story. Use blocks/Legos to build a scene from it.
13. Plan a church service for your family. Then have it in your living room!
14. Build a band using instruments you make from household objects. Practice, then put on a concert for your parent(s).
15. Build a story with a buddy. One person begins with “once upon a time” and the next person adds a sentence. Keep going, taking turns adding sentences until you get to “the end.”
16. Think of someone you could surprise with a reminder of how much God (and your family!) loves them. Make or do something to brighten their day.
17. Ask your parent to fill a container or baggie with 15 random things from around the house like a paper clip, piece of foil, tissue, comb, fork, rubber band, string, coin, etc. Use only those objects to create a scene from a Bible story.
18. Puppet show! Stick paper eyes on wooden spoons or spatulas, or stick your hand into two different socks. Crouch behind the couch and tell your tale.
19. Make a list of all the things you’re grateful to God for.
20. Act out the story of Daniel in the lions’ den. Film the final play and send it to someone you haven’t seen for a while.
It is worth remembering that in this time of uncertainty, it helps a lot to weave wonder into your conversations. Talk about the amazing world God made, express gratitude for the big and small ways in which God is providing for your family, and share stories of the ways in which God has been faithful to you in the past and remains faithful to you now. I hope each of these ideas help you talk together, laugh together, and meet challenges together.
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