It’s almost here . . . that most wonderful time of the year when we get to tuck the backpacks in storage, pull out our flip-flops, and enjoy days without homework or permission slips to sign! There’s a lot to look forward to as summer vacation arrives at our doorsteps: Ice cream cones, extra family time, enjoying time in the great outdoors . . .
But if we’re being honest, there’s one thing we all dread about summer, isn’t there? It’s just two little words, but they can darken our moods as quickly as clouds rolling in front of the sun: “I’m bored.”
Some of us might manage to avoid these words through the early days of summer sweetness. But it’s inevitable: The moment arrives when summer magic loses it’s shine and our kids come complaining that “there’s nothing to do.”
I’m actually a firm believer that a little boredom is a good thing for our kids. It gives them time to simply “be” instead of feeling the need to do something exciting every moment of the day. It teaches them that real life does get a little boring at times. And when it does, they have a decision to make: Will they make themselves miserable by focusing on their lack of “fun”–or will they find something meaningful to do with their time?
My kids have probably grown weary of hearing me say this, but when I hear complaints about boredom, I’ll often comment, “You’re a smart kid: I’ll bet you can come up with something to do.” But I’ll admit, after enough complaining, I often break down and start coming up with ideas for them.
A few summers ago, I tried to create a “happy medium” between leaving my kids to fester in their boredom versus swooping in and creating fun for them: I put together five little bins with activities based on the letters “BORED.” Then, any time I heard complaining about boredom, I just pointed toward the bins. The kids learned pretty quick that they could either come up with their own idea or pull an idea out of the bin–but it’s not mom’s responsibility to make every moment fun for them!
Now, with summer break quickly approaching, I thought I’d share these little “BORED Bin” ideas with you as a free printable. All you’ll need is the download (which you can grab by clicking the blue box below), a scissors, and five bins. (I used empty Crystal Light containers I saved up, but any small container will do. Mason jars or empty food cans could be great options too.)
The download includes one page with 5 large circle labels that you can use to label each of your bins. And then you’ll find 5 more pages of activity ideas, using the following categories.
B – Bless Someone
0 – Outdoor Play
R – Read & Write
E – Enjoy Time with God
D – Do Something Creative
I offer twelve activity prompts for each letter of “Bored,” but you might want to remove some or add in some ideas of your own, depending on the ages and abilities of your kids.
These little bins can be a great life-saver when the summer doldrums hit and your kids need some ideas to jumpstart their day. But my hope is that over time, they’ll start to think of these categories on their own when boredom hits. As they grow older, I hope they’ll learn that it’s okay to be bored–and that boredom might be a great time to think about how to bless someone else, spend some time with God, or just enjoy some rest and quiet creativity.
So grab these free printable activities right here and put together a little “BORED” station of your own. I hope it keeps your mama sanity just a bit brighter this summer!
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