It has been raining here off and on for the past two weeks, with the kids out of school and trapped in the house I think we were all going a little bit stir-crazy. The kids were tired of their toys, their T.V shows and (gasp) even their video games! This was not going to bode well for me or the household in general. Thankfully with a little bit of thought, I was able to occupy them for hours at no cost. This simple cure for summer break boredom meant I was able to get the laundry in, do the dishes and even watch something that wasn’t a cartoon for the first time since school let out.
The trick? It’s very simple! Walk through your house and collect every potential art and craft item you can find, Dump it all on your kitchen table and tell the kids to go nuts. I set everything out for them after lunch and while I had to help cut things once in a while they were occupied and free from boredom for hours. I had an entire afternoon of free from ‘Mommy will you play with me?’ and ‘mommy I’m bored!’. It was amazing.
Obviously, some households will have more art supplies on hand then others and if you want to spend some money Amazon has some pretty good art kits for kids but with a bit of creativity, most homes have enough on hand for kids to have fun without spending. This cure for boredom actually seems to work better without the direction a kit gives anyways, it took them far more time to come up with ideas, work out how to make it work with the supplies they had and then create something then it would have taken them to simply follow instructions. But if your kids are the type who like instructions or you want something more educational in nature then look at the kits!
Ideas for Household Art Supplies
- Toilet Paper/Paper Towel Rolls
- Egg Cartons
- Cotton Balls
- Clothes Pins
- Old Paints (Acrylic or water color seem to work best)
- Coffee Filters
- Old Holiday Cards
- Colored Paper
- Small Cardboard boxes/containers
- Tape or Glue
- Scrap Material
- Paper Cups/Plates
Tips for a Successful Afternoon of Art
Art is messy – Make sure you cover up your table, old newspapers or garbage bags seem to work the best but an old tablecloth you don’t care about would work too.
Be on hand for Hard Tasks – You don’t want your kids to get frustrated with hard tasks if they can’t cut out the wings for their flying blue and black wolf then you will benefit in the long by taking the time to help them out. If they get frustrated and are not having fun then they won’t be occupied for very long.
Give them Ideas – In much the same vein as above, if your kids are stuck for an idea don’t be afraid to start listing some off, I suggested clothes pin bugs or egg carton caterpillars. My kids didn’t make either of those but it did get them thinking creatively and got them past the ‘I don’t know what to make!’ block.
Put them in old Clothes – Especially if there is paint involved! I didn’t think of this one until it was too late – but since school is out and all the school clothes need to be replaced anyways it didn’t matter much in the long run.
Does this have a drawback? Of course! There will be a mess to clean up afterward and possibly sparkles all over your Carpet but I found it worthwhile. My kids were happy, I got a little bit of free time and ended up with some super cute art projects to display. I call that a summer boredom win!