The following is a guest post…
In a perfect world children would be able to entertain themselves for hours on end and the sentence, “I’m bored!” would be omitted from the English language forever, but we’re not living in a perfect world and until some genius comes up with the ultimate boredom-buster, we better be prepared and have our proverbial box of tricks close on hand. I wouldn’t be the first parent to admit to resorting to running to the local McDonald’s or mall in order to seek entertainment for my child, but these unplanned outings start to add up and all the little extras like snacks and paying for parking soon start to gnaw tiny little holes in the monthly budget.
“Wouldn’t it be far better if I had a plan of action I could refer to whenever the dreaded “I’m bored!” situation arose?” I found myself asking that the other day. But of course it would! So why haven’t I done it yet? Enough excuses. Today is the day I’ll put together that list. There will be no more unplanned outings (well at least fewer) and far less unplanned expenditure. I know I can do this if I put my mind to it and make an effort. After all it will make a big difference in the long run and instead of bleeding small amounts here and there, that money could be used towards a family vacation or something more practical such as a new microwave or lawnmower. And so I set about creating my ‘emergency plan’.
The first thing I did was to convert a large unused plastic container into a craft box. Inside I placed a glue stick, safety scissors, crayons, markers and masking tape. The second thing I did was set about collecting stickers, old birthday cards, toy catalogues, invitations, bottle tops, toilet roll tubes and plenty other interesting bits and pieces that could be used as part of a craft activity. I also included sheets of brightly coloured paper and cardboard.
On the internet, and Pinterest in particular, I looked up and bookmarked various child-friendly craft ideas. I copied the links on to a page and gave each one a description. I then printed out and pinned the list to the notice board in my study – as a quick reference guide. I managed to find marvellous activities such as mask making, simple stick puppets, play dough creatures, nature boards, and a craft where one turns old CD’s into fish, lions and other characters by gluing them on to a sheet of paper and decorating them. My list contained at least twenty items and took less than an hour to compile.
So next time I’m in tempted to go on to a mobile casino in order to drown out my daughter’s persistent moans about being bored, I can simply refer to my emergency list and within less than two minutes be treated to the cheerful sounds of her singing away as she works on her latest craft project. The upside is that I feel like a super-star parent and my little girl has a beautiful artwork to add to her collection. It’s a win-win situation.