Moan, groan and despair. I love those sounds. I view them as opportunities to engage my youngsters creatively, to invite them to see the world a bit differently for a few moments.
Here are some of my favorite creativity booster games for bored kids.
Play “what can you do with a…” this is a fun exercise I do with my own kids when they get the bored zombie look in their eye. Challenge them to take a paper plate (or toothpicks, or fabric scraps etc) and make something. Anything. As a variation, give them three items, they can be related or random. This game can be played with art supplies, food, recycled items, items from nature etc.
Along the same lines, what about a round of “what is it?” you can play this one with paintings of modern art or just bizarre objects you find at a flea market (or photos of oddities that you found on the net). The weirder the better. Produce the unusual image / item and brainstorm a list of possibilities. Feel free to get silly. As a follow up, hand your youngster paper for writing a story or creating an illustration about someone using the item.
Start your crafting time by challenging them to come up with a finished product, but not giving them specific instructions on how to create it. For example, tell your kids “Today’s project is make a sunshine. What can you use to make a sunshine? Yellow blocks? Colored paper? Pipe cleaners?” Brainstorm all the different materials you could use to create a sunshine. Then follow their leads.
Don’t put too many guidelines on these activities and be sure to embrace whatever quirky (but appropriate) answers they come up with. Happy thinking outside the box!