101 non-electric things for kids to do when they're bored

Things for your children to do that don't require an e- or an i- . Have a list ready when they say they are bored.

101 non-electric things for kids to do when they're bored

Things for your children to do that don't require an e- or an i- . Have a list ready when they say they are bored.
  • Ever wonder if your kids know about that alternate universe that doesn't run on "e" and "i"? If you hand them a book, do they try to figure out how to recharge it or where to plug it in? Do they look for the delete button when you hand them a plate of veggies? Do they reach for the fast forward when you are talking to them? Are they "married" to several people on FB? It might be time to disconnect for a little while.

  • Here are 101 suggestions to encourage your children to disconnect and connect with the real world:

    1. Bake cookies and deliver them to an elderly neighbor or relative

    2. Learn to jump rope

    3. Start a band

    4. Work a jigsaw puzzle with a group of friends

    5. Start a small business

    6. Volunteer at an animal shelter

    7. Become a clown and visit nursing homes

    8. Start a poetry club

    9. Find a pen pal

    10. Collect stamps and find people to swap with

    11. Make a mosaic

    12. Carve soap into a figurine

    13. Work with clay and a potter's wheel

    14. Walk dogs for neighbors

    15. Build a model

    16. Get a group together and break a world record in something

    17. Start a neighborhood newspaper

    18. Lie in the grass and look at the clouds

    19. Read an entire dictionary

    20. Set up a scavenger hunt for your friends

    21. Go on a photo safari

    22. Paint a picture

    23. Learn to play chess

    24. Grow an herb garden

    25. Make a movie with your friends

    26. Knit a sweater

    27. Embroider a bib for a baby

    28. Do yoga

    29. Learn a new language

    30. Do a chore without being asked (and watch the magic happen)

    31. Leave love notes all over the house

    32. Direct a neighborhood talent show

    33. Raise money for a charity

    34. Raise a caterpillar into a butterfly and release

    35. Wash the dog or clean the bird's or hamster's cage

    36. Mold chocolate candy

    37. Blow bubbles

    38. Make a scrapbook of your life

    39. Make a time capsule and bury it in your back yard to dig up when you are 20

    40. Cook a five-course meal and serve your family or a group of friends

    41. Record a song

    42. Start a book club

    43. Spend an entire day in the library reading

    44. Pick a bouquet of wildflowers for your mother

    45. Make a rock collection

    46. Play with the hose

    47. Build a snow fort

    48. Make a quilt

    49. Go on a hike and camp out

    50. Earn and save money for something big you have been wanting

    51. Participate in a charity event

    52. Write a fan letter to a celebrity you admire telling them why

    53. Spend the day getting to know a younger sibling

    54. Learn to belly dance

    55. Make sandwiches and deliver to the homeless

    56. Write out a plan for your future and see how close you come to it

    57. Make candles

    58. Dry or press flowers

    59. Learn calligraphy

    60. Lie in the grass and look at the stars and identify them

    61. Create a superhero and write his story in a graphic novel

    62. Wear a blindfold or earplugs all day to help you better comprehend how blind or deaf people live

    63. Plan a family night with an activity and snacks

    64. Spend an entire day praying and talking to God

    65. Read a book series (Harry Potter, Series of Unfortunate Events, etc.) to a child

    66. Listen to an opera

    67. Try a new food

    68. Sew a pillow

    69. Tie-dye a T-shirt

    70. Learn to batik

    71. Collect coats and gloves for the needy

    72. Make a loom and weave place mats

    73. Paint your bedroom

    74. Jump on a pogo stick

    75. Try water skiing or tubing

    76. Bake bread

    77. Work a crossword puzzle

    78. Read a newspaper front to back

    79. Teach someone something you know how to do well

    80. Tutor someone in a subject in which you are strong

    81. Run for something (class president, most like to ...) or run a campaign for a friend

    82. Start a petition for a cause you believe in

    83. Write a congressman about something that concerns you

    84. Draw a floor plan for your idea of a perfect house

    85. Run a day camp for neighborhood kids (summer, winter break, spring break)

    86. Skip everywhere you go for one full day

    87. Try to answer everyone who talks to you by singing a song

    88. Play with toys in a bubble bath

    89. Redecorate your room with a theme

    90. Throw a surprise party for someone for no particular reason

    91. Create a new holiday

    92. Work at a soup kitchen

    93. Make a budget

    94. Play in the dirt or mud

    95. Grow a frog from a tadpole

    96. Go fishing

    97. Make a rubber band ball as big as you can

    98. Speak in pig-Latin for an entire day

    99. Take a picture of yourself wearing the same thing in the same place every day at the same time for a year and then make a movie of it

    100. Go to school in formal wear with a few of your friends

    101. Build a better mousetrap

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  • There you have it. A list to hand your children when you ask them to unplug and they say they are bored. Make substitutions and either hand them the list, or cut into strips and put in a jar and let them draw one out each time they whine. They may discover hidden talents, untried passions, or a lifelong hobby. You may discover a little peace.

Becky Lyn is an author and a 35+ year (most of the time) single mom.


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