I was in the middle of writing an article about who-knows-what when my 12-year old son shot me with a nerf dart. Now, there’s nothing new about that. Parenting a tween boy means I’m human target practice more than I’d like, but this morning that nerf dart was my son’s way of expressing his extreme boredom. I’ve been limiting his screen time, but he’s not great at finding other ways to amuse himself.
Sick of hearing “I’m bored,” I offered him some options that would keep any tween boy or girl busy for a while. As a personal promise to myself, you won’t find slime anywhere on this list. But I suppose you can make that option #21, if you really hate the rugs in your house or owning glue.
How to keep your tween from being bored all day:
Learn some new card tricks to impress family and friends.
Collect and organize trading cards (Pokemon, sports, etc.).
Learn a new instrument (guitar, piano, harmonica, etc.). Some local music schools offer virtual lessons or you can always turn to YouTube for self-instruction.
Take up photography. Kids are glued to their phones anyway; might as well make it productive.
Learn to cook or bake. These recipes are super easy for young cooks.
Make your own a comic book like George and Harold from Captain Underpants.
Make a kite and fly it.
Read something new. Here’s a list of 100 must-read chapter books for kids 9-14.
Redecorate their bedroom.
Try a new kind of skateboard/snowboard hybrid, the ripstick.
Do some kids yoga.
Learn to knit/crochet. This is a great video for beginners.
Grow a garden. Here’s some tips for gardening with kids.
Pick a craft, any craft. Here’s 100 to choose from.
Try your hand at tie-dying. Try to keep the mess to a minimum.
Play word games: crossword puzzles, word search, Mad Libs, sudoku.
By Jeannine Cintron, Staten Island Parent Editor and mom of two cute but crazy kids.