Growing up, my siblings and I would often complain that we were bored and my mum always countered our childish grievances with three words: “use your imagination”. We would scrunch up our faces in response and twiddle some grass between our fingers — proving her right! Besides who needs toys, computers, or television when our imaginative brains can trigger more fun? Think, pretend Olympics with a cartwheel, handstand practice in the backyard, playing runaway children, and plucking lilacs from the bushes to serve as our picnic food.
I had so much fun doing these activities growing up that I resolved to pass on this habit to my girls. So when they say they are bored, I’m going to hide the iPad and whip out this amazing new 352-page, action, and information-packed book: Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun by co-authors and parents, Elizabeth Foy Larsen and Joshua Glenn. It is a contemporary collection of imaginative ideas and tested projects that transcend the Dangerous and Daring series in scope and creativity. It makes me want to go back in time to clap out “Miss Mary Mack” with friends or yarn bomb my neighborhood. Yes, there are pages in the book that detail such things.
The book targets kids aged 8 to 13 and focuses on both genders. There are tons of projects, articles, and advice that appeal to both boys and girls. To ensure it doesn’t lose its appeal, the author parsed out the pages to a range of 30 talented inventors, crafters, and thinkers including environmental activist Colin Beaven; Make magazine editor-in-chief Mark Frauenfelder; children’s book author Kate DiCamillo; and comic illustrator Joe Alterio.
Flip to any page and you might find the following: a how-to on building a geyser with a 2-liter bottle of coke and 6 mentos candies; simple steps for decoupaging a skateboard; a page with rules and illustrations for proper and playful roughhousing at home; parlor games to break out on family night; classic pranks like short-sheeting a bed (complete with a diagram); great nostalgic book suggestions like A Wrinkle in Time and Bridge to Terabithia; and articles that speak straight to kids on important topics like ADHD and bullying.
But what gave me the biggest kick were the posts (sprinkled throughout) about how kids can help out their parents.
How late should kids allow their grownups to sleep on weekends? Until at least 9:30 or 10:00! Most kids can make their breakfast, whether it’s a bowl of cereal or toast. Also, grownups aren’t supposed to be entertainment centers.
Advice that’s worth its weight in happy parenting like the many conversations we have on the blog.
POSTED IN: GIFTS WE LOVE · TAGGED: BIRTHDAY GIFT IDEA, HOW TO PLAY, IDEAS FOR PLAY, INDOOR ACTIVITIES, OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES