School’s finally out for the majority of all kiddos in our area, and with that comes the start of summer vacation. The excitement and anticipation lasts for, oh, all of 3 minutes until you hear your child utter those two dreaded words, “I’M BORED!”
They sulk around your house, complaining they have nothing to do, nothing to play with, nothing that’s fuuuuuun…are you hearing these words yet from your own kiddo? As much as we do to try to occupy our child’s attention over the summer, the truth is that many kids still need a lot of structure over these months. One thing I have learned as a stay at home mom is that I need to be ready with choices when I hear those words. Oh, and boy does this Mommy have choices!
I know it sounds crazy, but I have grown to actually LOVE hearing my kids say those words because it means I can put them to work! I’m not as mean as I sound – but I am ready with a chore, task or activity that they can occupy themselves with until they suddenly realize they aren’t bored anymore. And just for the record, they do earn an allowance each week for all their hard work!
My husband and I strongly believe in the importance of assigning our children chores around our home. Not only does this help them understand responsibility, but it also really helps us out with running things smoothly around our home. Many hands make light the work.
As soon as our kids were old enough, we would create chore charts for them to hang on our fridge with simple tasks like “make my bed”, “brush my teeth” or “help pick up toys.” As they got older, we’d revise these chores to things a bit more advanced like, “feed the dog”, “help fold laundry” or “help with dusting.” And this year, my oldest who’s 8 will graduate to even more advanced help like, “vacuum the carpet”, “wash windows” and “unload the dishwasher.”
A few years ago, my husband and I used to create & sell personalized custom chore charts and potty training charts for kids through our online Ebay store. I’d love to share some FREEBIE CHARTS with you today to get your own kids started out helping with chores around your home, if they haven’t already.
I’ve created some simple “My Chore Charts” that you can download here in PDF form, then print them off and laminate them for repeated use. You decide which chores are right for your child, then write them in the spaces along the left. I’ve included a few different themed options for both boys & girls. Enjoy!
Boy Chore Charts
Girl Chore Charts
But it’s not just household tasks that I assign to my own kids when they complain they are bored. If their daily chores are done and they are still looking for something else to do, then out comes the “I’m Bored Jar.” This is an easy way to satisfy your kids’ desire to do something when they’ve
forgotten ignored the fact that their playroom is full of toys just waiting to be played with!
I’ll be honest, I think I stole this idea from my mom when we were kids. I really do remember a mason jar full of folded up pieces of paper that had loads of ideas – chores and fun activities combined – that we had to pull from if we uttered the words, “I’m bored” each summer. This is just my spin-off version of making it my own!
I started with a simple, small mason jar and gave it a quick coat of paint to make it pretty. Then I unscrewed the lid & removed the inside sealing circle, but left the round rim. I added a section of chicken wire cut to size to create little divider sections. I painted the middle oval section of the jar with chalkboard paint which means you can personalize each jar to your liking. You could simplify this idea even more and just use an empty square tissue box or something up-cycled that requires little to no prep.
I then took some wooden craft sticks – they sell these pretty much anywhere like Walmart, Dollar Tree, craft stores, etc. – and wrote down a bunch of fun ideas my kids might enjoy doing on each one. Or you could just write them down on some small squares of paper and fold them up for the inside of the jar. We used the craft stick idea. Here are some of our ideas that appear in our “I’m Bored” jar:
- play in the sprinkler
- go on a bug hunt
- have a picnic
- make a craft
- pop popcorn & watch a movie
- draw a picture
- work in the garden
- read a book
- make cookies
- build a fort
- blow bubbles
- draw with sidewalk chalk
- put on some music and have a dance party
- write a letter to someone
I have found that my kids LOVE this jar! It instantly flips the switch from boredom to stimulation and eventually leads to them finding something else to do afterwards without any more prompting. Most of the time they just need an activity to get them moving in the right direction.
So, the next time you hear your child saying those dreaded summer words, remind them of all the FUN chores and activities you have just waiting for them! And if you’d like to save yourself the time and hassle of creating your own “I’m Bored” or “Chore” Jar, I’ve got them on sale in my shop right now! Be sure to snatch one up to help keep summer boredom at bay!
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6