"Mom, I'm bored!"

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Oh, how often I hear that phrase in a day.
We seem to go through stages of activity and lesser activity. For me, lesser activity = relaxation, for kids it = boredom and thenceforth the need to have mom entertain in some manner.
A constant endeavor of mine is to come up with some mom free entertainment that doesn’t involve placing the kids in front of the TV or computer.
Here are some activity ideas that don’t require constant mom involvement.
1. It’s berry picking season. Two of my favorite berries, blackberries and blueberries are about ready for the picking. If you live near a pick your own farm, plan an outing. Take a picnic blanket, pack a lunch, bring some baskets, sunscreen and a book and let the kids pick berries while you read your book on your blanket.
Most pick your own farms will have many very long rows of berry bushes making it easy to restrict your children to one row for a long time and keep an eye on them.
2. Have any woodland trails nearby that perhaps lead to a small stream? Again, pack whatever you need and when you get to your destination, set up and enjoy nature while the children wade in the stream chasing bugs and fish.
Local Nature Centers will often have woodland trails and perhaps a little museum for you to explore or animals to see before you begin your hike.
3. Go to the pool. I always have a great time relaxing and playing with my kids at a swimming pool. Open swim hours are available at many recreation centers as well as lessons. If you prefer not to swim, you can just watch your kids learn to swim.
If you can’t afford the local Rec. Center and don’t have any other pool to swim at you can always buy a kiddie pool for the backyard or balcony for the kids to splash around in. Don’t like the kiddie pool idea? What about water guns? Or send the kids out with an electric bubble blower.
4. Kids don’t nap anymore? Designate their former nap time as quiet time. A time where they are to stay in their rooms playing quietly or looking at books. To help keep them entertained you could check out library books every couple of weeks, and rotate giving them a couple new books to look at during each quiet time.
5.Make playdough. It is so relaxing for me to knead dough of any kind. And the kids will be entertained in making it and then playing with it.
Basic Tips:
*I find when my kids get to make something they’re going to play with, they usually enjoy playing with it much more. Items like Playdough and fingerpaints can be made quickly and inexpensively.
*One trick to keeping kids entertained is to keep things fresh and new. Rotate through activities throughout the week. Playdough every day will get old real fast, but once a week is special and they’ll want to play with it longer.
* Take the time to waste time. Plan bigger activities on days when you have no place to be. Once you get there, don’t watch the clock. Saunter on that woodland hike. Read until the kids tell you they’re tired of picking berries. It’s great to realize that a three hour chunk of your day has suddenly gone by.


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