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150 things for kids to do

150 fun things to do

I’ve been in dire need of a little Quick Trick to hand Owen when he says, I’m bored. What can I do?

My usual responses:

  • Oh, I’m so happy you’re bored.  Many children in the world never have the pleasure of being bored because they’re working in the fields or going to work for their family.  You should feel so happy, Owen, that you are able to be bored;

or. . .

  • Boring people are bored.  If you are a clever and creative boy, you’ll find something clever and creative to do;

or. . .

  • Hi, Bored.  I’m Mommy.  Glad to meet you . . .

were making even me a little (ahem. . . ) bored.

So one day when the O-Man told me he was finished with his ticket and he was (again) bored, I said, Okay. Grab a chair.  You are a smart boy, but I can tell that sometimes you need a little jump start when it comes to finding something to do.  Let’s make a list of a million things you can do whenever you feel bored.

 fun things to do stick

 

And so this little Quick Trick was born, and so the Fun Sticks have entered our home.  And we haven’t had this much fun for ages.  Or, at least Owen hasn’t.

Here’s the skinny. . .

  • Fun Sticks — 150 Things for Kids to Do:  For several days, when Owen was finished with his homework, he brought the stool over to the desk and we pounded out some fun ideas of things to do.

The 150 fun things to do list is a 5-page document with 30 ideas on each page.  150 fun things to do list can be downloaded and printed onto any standard-sized labels.  I used Avery 5160.

fun things to do owen

Owen puts a label on his Fun Stick.

Owen would suggest some ideas, and I’d suggest some, and Maddy and Cora would suggest some. And I’d type them right into the document. No rough drafts for this crew; we were not messing around.fun things to do owen

We included all sorts of activities.  We came up with really creative things:

  • use old photos to record a memory;
  • draw a new planet;
  • make something from a paper roll;
  • create a masterpiece out of your name.

And we came up with some really not-so-creative things:

  • run around the house five times;
  • color with crayons;
  • look at the clouds;
  • make paper airplanes;
  • do puzzles.

We added some electronic activities and a whole lot of battery-free ideas.  We included inside activities and outside activities, messy and mess-free activities. We added activities involving other people and activities to do solo.  We thought of things to do for others and things to do for yourself.

I stuck in some cleaning activities–Swiffer the floor, clean the windows, organize the toy bins–because some days, my kids really like doing those things. Not every day. Not even close to every day. But some days.

fun things to do owen

Our Fun Sticks are FULL of fun ideas. . .

fun things to do owen

. . . and if they think cleaning the floor is fun, then I’m game.

 

I wanted anything and everything on our list, because I know that sometimes Owen just needs an idea–and then he’s good to go for a while. And I also know that sometimes one thing leads to another.  Maybe Maddy, Owen, and Cora will start out playing restaurant, and then things will take a turn and restaurant turns into vet which turns into school which somehow morphs into ‘three kids on a desert island whose parents left them there but left them with a lot of toys’.  Or something like that.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to use them, but I knew that I wanted to get every idea down in a label-template so that I could print them out and he could stick them somewhere.  Obviously, it would be one super-fun thing to do–to put all of the fun ideas somewhere, right?

fun things to do owen

fun things to do owen I printed out the list onto the only labels I had–clear ones–and we stuck them on big-sized popscicle sticks. 

I didn’t pull out all 150 of them; there wasn’t enough room in our Fun Sticks jar.  I figured I’d rotate them, changing sticks every few weeks. 

We had to tape the labels on with packing tape as reinforcement because after a few days the labels started peeling, but that was fine. It was yet another fun thing for us to do, plus it made them look more ‘official’ according to the kids.

We put about 70 sticks in a rice container, the uber green family we are, which we first decorated with some bigger labels stamped with happy Melissa & Doug alphabet stamps and pet stamps.

Owen was our first guy to try out the Fun Sticks. His very first fun activity? Swiffering the floor.  Which he very happily did.

And then very soon afterward, he asked me how to spell ‘shrimp’.  I asked him why and he told me: I’m making a menu for Cora’s birthday.

It was a Fun Stick idea.  Love it.

fun things to do owen Owen’s Birthday Menu for Cora

 

We put our ideas on big popscicle sticks because we had about a gazillion of them sitting around the house; however, I think these would be super if they were printed out on white labels and stuck on small squares of paper or put in envelopes and rotated or clipped together with a ring clasp and became an ‘idea book’ or something.

The possibilities are endless–and it’s really about what works for your kiddos!

And that’s it–just a little Quick Trick to keep in your back pocket.  And I’m not necessarily talking about the 150 fun things for kids to do; I’m talking more about the idea of having a little ‘go-to’ spot for ideas for things to do.  Ideas that just get kids started–if they need it–on those days they (and you) need it.  Hopefully Fun Sticks may be something that will help your kids to think, move, create, and have fun!

Many thanks to my pal Allie for sharing her Amazing 74 Tv-Free Activities for Toddlers and to the creator of (still not sure who it belongs to) of the sweet Prayer Pail for its simplicity and meaning for being seeds for our Fun Sticks idea.

Want a few more ideas? Feel free to follow a rockin’ pinterest board: Cool & Creative Indoor Fun, PreK Collaborative, Inspired by Nature, or any of my boards you’d like!

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Comments

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Comment (26) | Leave a comment

  1. Love this idea! We could really use a jar of idea sticks this morning ;)

    Reply
    • Thank you thank you thank you, Crystal!!! Totally appreciate your feedback and please let me know if you have any ideas to add!!

      Reply
  2. I love the idea of having a “bored jar.” I still remember my 4th grade teacher had a poster in her room that said “gifted people are never bored.” They still need some inspiration sometimes, though.

    Reply
    Kristin @ Preschool Universe
    24/03/2012
    • Kristin! I love that–and I agree–sometimes we all need a little inspiration or a kick start, right? Thanks so much for reading, my friend, and huge thanks for writing!!

      Reply
  3. Swiffer the floors caught my attention as yes, children love to do that. First graders thought it was an honor to use the hokey (carpet sweeper) on the carpet! Whatever the children think is a good idea is an excellent attitude and is what works. Thanks for the printable and all the ideas and the wonderful explanation! Carolyn

    Reply
    • Carolyn! So funny that kids like to do these ‘novelty’ things sometimes, right? I agree–whatever works for the kids and gets them excited. Many thanks for reading–and huge thanks for writing, my friend!!

      Reply
  4. I used a similar idea for when we are on a long trip and need things to do at rest areas. I had a show box packed under the seat, that had all of the supplies for activities, like bubbles, chalk, helicopter, gliders, jump ropes etc. I then made sticks with each rest area safe activitiy and the boys took turns pulling a stick when we stopped. Then we would pull out the supplies and take a little break from traveling. This was great for getting the wiggles out of kids and it also controlled the fighting over what to do while we were at the rest areas. I stored the sticks in the glovebox in a baggie. Worked great!

    Reply
    • Robin–SO, so, so smart!! I LOVE that idea!! What a super-smart one, especially for long trips. Totally going to do the same!! Thanks, friend!

      Reply
  5. Thank you for posting this idea. Our children need to know all the things they CAN do. I am sure Owen was amazed at the list which is probably growing. I will share this with many.

    Reply
    Rita
    27/03/2012
    • thanks so much, Rita!! totally appreciate you reading–and taking the time to write!!

      Reply
  6. Fantastic!!! This is SO perfect–need lots of ideas to have ready when baby number three arrives in a few weeks. We have an “I’m bored” jar that we made a few years ago–desperately needs updating and this is going to be just what we needed. Thank you, thank you thank you! So kind of you to share all your ideas! Can’t wait to spend more time exploring your blog. Really excited!

    Reply
    julie
    30/03/2012
    • Julie–Congratulations on baby #3 and thank YOU for reading and taking the time to write–cannot tell you how much it means to me!!! Best to you, my friend!

      Reply
  7. Thanks a ton. I love the idea and LOVE that they are already in label format. We have labels, sticks and tape. Thanks a TON!

    Reply
    sarah
    18/07/2012
    • super!! please do let me know how it goes for you, Sarah!!

      Reply
  8. WOW this website is really good/cool and really creative what is the girl called who made thiswebsit just so I can speak to her in person and tell her how pleasured I am to read her loovely ideas for board kids.

    Reply
    Jessica W
    30/10/2012
  9. Sorry about my spelling mistakes I think I might of rewind your website I’m so verry sorry I hope you forgive me :) x

    Reply
    Jessica W
    30/10/2012
  10. :) ;)

    Reply
    Jessica W
    30/10/2012
  11. What an awesome list! I made a bored jar earlier this year, and my 5-year-old is loving it. I just got a whole TON of more ideas for it from this post, thank you! Pinning it now. :-)

    Reply

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