Winter break, and kids are bored; here are some ideas

Akron Beacon JournalJanuary 9, 2014 

Tell me it ain’t so. Luke has fought and conquered his new video game. Sarah has made bracelets for Aunt Ashley, Grandma and even the dog with her Rainbow loom.

Now they are b-o-r-e-d.

The word makes you cringe. You thought the new toys would occupy the kids until at least spring, but it’s months away and the kids are tired of the LeapPad and Big Hugs Elmo.

Never fear. To help hush the whiners, we have put together some ideas to keep them busy and you happy.

Make a tent

Kids love having a place of their own, a spot where an adult won’t – or can’t – invade the premises.

You need a large sheet, blanket or enormous bathrobe; two chairs or a table. Place two chairs a few feet apart back-to-back, or use a dining room or card table. Throw the blanket over the top and crawl inside. To ensure complete privacy, make and post a sign – “Kids Only.”

Need a rain stick?

Listening to the raindrops on the roof can be very relaxing. Your child can capture that feeling and listen to the drops – snow, rain or shine.

You need cardboard tubes from gift wrap or paper towels, strips of cardboard, sturdy paper, tape, uncooked rice and seeds.

Cut two 4-inch circles out of sturdy paper (trace a cereal bowl for the shape). Place one of the circles over the end of the tube, folding down the sides and taping it around the tube. Make certain it is well taped or the stick may spring a leak!

Cut cardboard strips narrower than the tube (about 1 inch wide should work). Fold them back and forth like a fan. Put the strips into the tube. The first one should fall to the bottom. Keep adding strips until they reach the top of the tube.

Pour 1/4 cup of rice and two tablespoons of seeds, such as corn or lentils, into the tube.

Fit the other circle over the open end and securely tape in place.

Decorate the tube with markers or paints. You can decorate the tubes before they are filled, but remember that the paper circles will be taped partially down the sides and could cover your artwork.

Memory books

Create a family photo book on a site like Shutterfly. Tell the kids to go through old pictures, scan the pictures that aren’t already digital, and ask questions about who’s in each photo or when it was taken. They could write their own text, which would make it a fabulous keepsake.

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