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Mom, I’m bored…

June 4, 2008

is a dangerous statement around this house. Dealing with the person or persons who uttered it is Shannon’s theme today for Works for Me Wednesday.

In past years I worked up a list of things, both fun and work related, that I cut into little slips of paper and placed inside of a jar. The child daring enough to complain to me about being bored “won” the right to reach his hand in and draw a slip. Some of the slips contained instructions to “clean the cat litter” or “sweep the kitchen” while others told the lottery winner to “play 30 minutes of a video game” or “eat 2 popsicles”.

After a few tries of this and the boys pulling out more often the work related slips, they began to think of other things to occupy themselves rather than risk the draw. Plus, sometimes I wasn’t too eager for them to pull a slip because whether fun or work related, often the instructions required my attention or oversight. I wasn’t bored. I was busy.

So I had to think of something else. I’ve written here about our summer homeschooling which in itself provides a balance of play time, structured time, and independent time. I realize though that not everyone is a homeschooling family. What do I have for you?

Well, a big I’m bored squasher around here is to make maps. The supply list is small. You only need a piece of paper (plain or construction) and a pen, pencil, or crayon. The activity comes in sending the child around the house or through the yard with the instruction to show Mom how to get from Point A to Point B. Even my youngest, now seven but at five years old, could do this.

It helps that my boys are particularly pirate crazy so lots of times they incorporate the idea of drawing a treasure map. Mom hiding something in the house (bag of M & M’s, suckers, Tic Tacs) for them to find and then illustrate is another way to keep the game going.

As they have gotten older they have learned how to make the map look “old,” by crumpling it, dampening it, and tearing the edges a bit. They even made it a game between themselves where one hides a treasure, draws the map, and the other two race to find the pirate booty.

Small supply list, not a lot of Mom supervision necessary, and high yield of time they are occupied and not bored. It works for me!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Ellen permalink
    June 4, 2008 1:18 pm

    I love this map idea! God sure gives us so much creative thought to keep life interesting :0)

  2. June 4, 2008 3:06 pm

    Thanks for the blog-welcome!!

    Yes, 3 sons in common. PLUS I am a homeschooling-mom-of-the-past! 4 years of it, here. Many days I miss it, most days I do not. The Lord had other things in store….

  3. June 4, 2008 3:34 pm

    Mine have always been fond of map making. I never thought of providing a treasure–hmmm…they’d like that!



  4. June 4, 2008 7:16 pm

    Fabulous idea. My daughter draws constantly, so the idea of making a map will appeal to her.

  5. June 5, 2008 2:51 pm

    I have three boys and they love pirates and treasure hunts too. Making maps is a great tip, thanks!

  6. June 6, 2008 7:34 pm

    I like both the jar and the maps. I think I’m going to get the kids to help with the jar. It will make things much more interesting than if I were to do it alone.

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