Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Boredom Busters

I've had this post in my head for a while now and I'm excited to share a TON of ideas for "busting boredom" this summer (or any other time) and hopefully make this post a reference for some of our favorites.


I listed this one first even though it's probably my least favorite things for my kids to do :)  But it's one of their absolute favorites and once I resign to the fact that it's going to escalate quickly and TAKE OVER MY HOUSE it's always hours and hours of a good time.   Bonus points for making two forts and then having a Nerf battle #boymomlife

Fort building can lead to some pretty awesome movie night (or afternoon) setups as well...  BONUS!


My kids LOVE being in the kitchen.  LOVE!  Baking together is the perfect afternoon activity and the pride that they take in serving their dessert or presenting their dinner is absolutely priceless.

Can you EVEN with those little tippy toes?!?!

Sometimes this involves me pre-measuring everything and a kid (or 2) getting to pour everything in. Sometimes it's helping with cutting (all three of them can use a knife now and help in this way). 
Sometimes it's buying a boxed cake and frosting and letting them do it all from start to finish.
It just depends on the day, time, my mess-tolerance, etc. :)


Magic show, concert, comedy hour... it doesn't matter!  They've been known to make tickets, special seating, etc.   SO MUCH FUN!


We love working on puzzles...

... and have one going at almost all times.  

Here are a few of our favorites...


I talked all about our reading time routine in  THIS POST.  During the summer we've modified our reading time routine and have had reading time in the morning and/or afternoon since our nighttime routine varies by activities and late-night swimming :)


Griffin is still very  much into imaginative play with dolls and babies and barbies.  She got  this dollhouse for Christmas and it's the perfect size for Barbies.  I love that she can access it from all sides and that it's on wheels.  It's great quality and she plays with it all the time.

The other "doll" type toy that she has been SO INTO the last 6 months or so are Maileg mice.  They're these absolutely precious handmade "heirloom quality" mice that could not be cuter.  She's received them over time as gifts from friends and family members and I'd say that they're her most-played-with toys so far this summer.  I love that she can put a few in a little purse when we go to church and they're so cute nobody minds when she has them all out at once ;)

Nordstrom will occasionally carry them as will Anthropologie but the largest selection  I've found has been online children's boutiques.  (PLEASE keep in mind that these are not inexpensive... but for us I feel like they're one of those toys that will stand the test of time and we'll have for years and years and years... and toys that Dave and I will hold onto for grandkids... more on that crazy thought in a bit).


Okay - I have LOTS of thoughts on these kinds of toys.  Over the years we've built quite the collection and these are everyone's favorite kinds of toys to play with.

Plus-Plus blocks are a more recent find and they are SO COOL!   I bought the big box of the "large" size and there's enough for everyone to play together and not fight... for the most part :)

Duplos and wooden Thomas the Train tracks/trains are two of are all-time favorite building toys.  I have spent a LOT of time stopping in at a local thrift store to build our Duplo collection (seriously... bags of them for $6!) and they are toys that my kids still pull out of the closet and all play collaboratively.  Dave and I have said that these toys (along with our "little table" and Hot Wheels cars) are toys that we'll never get rid of and our grandkids will play with :)  

K'Nex are some of Luke's favorite toys and the things you can make with them are INSANE!  Some of the sets have motors and he's always taking them apart and rebuilding them.

 Snap Circuits involve building models of working electrical circuits and kids can follow the guide book to create circuits that make things move, light up, make noise, launch things, etc. or (once they're a little more comfortable) make their own creations.

Image result for momfessionals snap circuits

Zoob are one of our favorite gifts to give for birthday parties because EVERY KID loves them.  They're easy to build with and flexible when they're connected.  They're awesome.

Brain Flakes are a great value and all three of my kids really enjoy these.

We were introduced to this wooden block set at Play Street and it has provided hours of entertainment.   It's been a castle for Maileg mice, an army guy base, a tower for lego guys and about a hundred other things.  

Another great one for younger all the way up to older kids are shape mags and  magformers.  We've had magformers for years and just got a few sets of the shape mags and my kids have played with them nonstop this summer.

Last, but not least is meccano.  Luke has a couple of their robotics set and they are phenomenal.  They're definitely for older kids - but they can be controlled with an app on his iPad and are pretty time-intensive to build (which is a PLUS since he can burn through a Lego set FAST!)


We LOVE art time.  Sometimes it's a planned out specific project and other times it's just the kids getting supplies out of the craft closet and doing their thing.

The key to successful art time is having supplies handy... a pack of construction paper, white paper, glue, pipe cleaners, a big roll of paper, markers, watercolors, etc. 

Look at those babies having some creative time 5 years ago :)

If you're looking for craft ideas you can click  HERE for lots of previous posts highlighting craft projects like this super easy sidewalk paint.

If I was going to recommend one craft supply for the summer it would be a big roll of white paper.  I get mine at IKEA but I've seen them at Michael's as well.  Everything is more fun on a big roll of paper.

Other simple art ideas include...
- reading a book and then creating your own illustrations
- journaling and illustrating a story about something you did that day
- putting music on and painting how it makes you feel
- listening to a podcast and creating something to illustrate and/or go along with it

Here are some of our very favorite craft supplies...

If you're easing into the craft game,  these books are some of our favorites.   The color is "in" the paper so all you need is a brush and water. 


Had paper towels delivered to your house today???  Give the box to your kids and let them be creative!  We've had boxes become race cars, space ships, puppet theaters, etc.


We LOVE to play games and you can click  HERE to read about what favorite games we have stocked in our game closet.


One of the easiest (and quickest!) cures for boredom at our house is getting outside.  That could mean getting in the pool, on the trampoline, out into the cul-de-sac or around the neighborhood on a walk.  Sometimes it's riding bikes to the grocery store (and treating ourselves to an ice cream on the way home) or heading to the pond to fish or just getting a blanket and some books and heading to the backyard.  Fresh air can cure a lot of things :)

Image result for momfessionals scooter

Okay - that was  a LOT!!! I'm hoping that you were able to get a couple of ideas to stick in your back pocket to pull out this summer.  

Happy Wednesday, friends!!!

PS - I started delving into "educational" ideas to keep learning going in the summer but decided to save that for another post... so keep an eye out for that.

This post contained affiliate links... thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!


  1. WOW! Such a great post!!!! This is going to help a lot of mamas!

  2. LOVE this post! So many great ideas! Thank you :)

  3. I want your game closet!!!
    Your kids are lucky to have so much imaginative play in their lives. . .it's so very important and often overlooked. And, it takes time to build these collections but like you said, there will be some things you keep forever (we have Thomas the Train, some good quality wooden puzzles, "real" blocks, and a marble set I refuse to part with along with many, many books). Happy Summer!!

    1. YES!!! Agree on all of this :) I'd much rather invest a bit in toys that are going to last year after year!

  4. These are all wonderful, thank you!! Tons of great birthday ideas in here, too :). My question the heck do you keep it all organized? Especially all the toys that have fifty million pieces ;). I love your game closet, but curious how you organize the rest and where you keep it - because when they're not playing, your house looks so organized! Thanks!!

    1. We store it all in the boys closets - I'll show it on instagram stories today if I can get my laundry room finally put back together :) hahaha

  5. Love these ideas! How do you manage screen time during the summer?

    1. It honestly varies day to day... sometimes there's no screen time... other days they watch two movies in a row and then play games on iPad :) Typically they get about 30 minutes of time on their iPad to use when they choose and then we MAY watch a movie or show together in the evening.

  6. Love all of these ideas!! Thank you for sharing.

  7. SO random haha but I'm jealous of Griffin's ponytail in the pictures with the mouse dolls, her hair is so pretty! and she looks so grown up!!

  8. Thanks for all the ideas! I'd love to hear what podcasts you listen to with your kids!

    1. I'll share them on my Friday post - I'll compile a list :)

  9. so fun! I want to come play at your house! :)

  10. Kiwi and Tinker Crates are popular at our house!!

    1. My kids got subscriptions to those for their birthdays and they have been a HUGE HIT as well!!! My MIL was a kindergarten teacher for 40 years and she LOVES to give great, educational gifts :)

  11. Teachers have THE BEST ideas for activities!!!

  12. We love going to play at the children's area at the library which is also free!

  13. You are providing the BEST childhood for your children. As a teacher I can attest yo the fact the kids don't seem to know how to do imaginative play anymore, or sometimes they don't know how to play altogether! Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful ideas!

  14. Such a great post, Andrea! Why are wooden blocks so cool? :) I just love them and that set looks amazing. Since your daughter has those cute mice, check out the book The Mouse Mansion by Karina Schappman. The author/artist created 100 rooms out of cardboard and papier-mache for a mouse family. The book is full of fun photos!

  15. Love the ideas! You have the BEST playlists going while your kids are crafting and playing. Would you consider writing a post of your favorite family tunes?!

  16. love this post! Thank you for the awesome ideas!

  17. do you have the link for your mixing bowl in the picture?

  18. Do you have the link to the mixing bowl from the picture above?


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