As I was waiting in line for my morning java boost I was eavesdropping on another mom’s conversation ( It was a REALLY LONG LINE!) and I heard her telling her cohort, …”I’m officially over winter, if my kids mention one more time how bored they are, I’m going to go postal on them.” Well of course I’d never go postal on my kids- although I’ve been known to allow a little Mommy Dearest behavior to creep into my consciousness, every once and again, especially when I hear my kids uttering those two words I disdain almost as much as ketchup, ” I’m BORED.”
Well, if you’ve been reading this blog on a regular basis–if not I suggest you bookmark us this very instant!- because I am here to make sure your kids only utter that “I’m bored” expression once a day- as opposed to every hour on the hour.
According to Steve and Ruth Bennett, Authors of 101 Offline Activities You Can Do With Your Child , there’s still something fundamentally satisfying about relying solely on the electronic activity in our brains and muscles to entertain ourselves and connect with family members and friends. Whether it’s a simple guessing game or a more elaborate round of toilet-paper tube bowling, low-tech/notech games and activities are remarkably satisfying, rejuvenating and, most importantly, a great way to engage your children.
The Bennetts offer these FIVE FREE Activitites Staten Island Families can indulge in…right now !
Set up 10 cups (or toilet paper tubes) at the end of hallway or across the room in the classic “V” formation. Provide a foam or rubber ball, thenâ€¦.bowl! Take turns inventing a scoring system (maybe the idea is to NOT knock over the green cup, or the red cup is worth 20 extra points).
Word Family Game
Have your kids try to make a sentence using four words from a word familyâ€”thatis, words that have the same beginning and ending, like “pin,” “tin,” ” bin,” and “grin.” You can up the difficulty by adding more words to the word family. Just remember, the zanier the sentences the better!
You’ll need 24 paper plates (the checkers) and 32 pieces of paper (16 one color, 16 another colorâ€”the checkerboard). Have your kids decorate the paper plates so there are 2 sets of 12. Assemble the paper squares on the floor in an 8 x 8 grid, place the paper plates on each end, then let the checker fun begin.
You don’t need technology to get on the air! Find a clean cardboard box that’s at least 18 by 18 inches, then cut out a square (about 12 by 12 inchesâ€”this is the “screen.”) Have your kids draw dials or buttons next to the cut out area. Family members take turns putting the box on their heads and doing a low-tech “show.” What to talk about when you’re on the air? Anything! The weather, local news, family happenings, activities of the family petsâ€”all the news that fit to speak!
Got some spare spaghetti or macaroni? Then you’ve got a maze game. Have your kids use the pasta to create pathways and labyrinths. When they’re done, get a kitchen timer and see how long it takes you to find your way from beginning to end. Then switch roles. (If everyone plays for the “family team,” you’ll minimize competitionâ€”the goal is to get the fastest time for the family.)