10 boredom busting ideas for kids brought to you by the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA).
Eat an Alphabet
Get your kids to describe how hungry they are – starting with the letter A take turns. The trick is to remember what everyone said before you. I’m so hungry I could eat an Apple. I’m so hungry I could eat an Apple and a Banana. I’m so hungry I could eat an Apple, Banana and a Cat!
Count to 100, every time you get to a number that's divisible by seven (7, 14, 21) or has a seven in it (17), say "Buzz" instead of the number. For older kids, to make it even harder say Fuzz for every number with a three or that's divisible by three. If you make a mistake it’s the next person’s turn. The first to get to 100 wins.
Draw a circle on the ground. Each player puts 4 marbles inside the circle – it’s best if everyone picks a colour. Take turns trying to knock each other’s marbles out of the circle with one large marble. If you knock your own marble out it goes back into the centre!
One person counts to 10 while the rest of the players scatter. When 10 is reached everyone freezes in their spot. The person counting takes 4 giant steps towards the closest person and tries to hit them with the ball. If they hit, that person gets a letter ‘S’ but if they miss then they get the letter. Now it’s the other person’s time to count. Players get knocked out whenever they reach SPUD - hit or missed 4 times – ouch!
Everyone’s made a fortress right? The next rainy day that comes around, help your kids make their own supersized fortress in the sitting room. All you need is a couple of chairs or a table covered with a blanket – they’ll stay busy all day long playing make-believe inside.
Make rain sticks
All you need is a cardboard tube, some dry rice, tinfoil, tape and long pipe cleaners or bent up wire hangers. Have your child colour and decorate the tube to their heart’s content. Then coil some pipe cleaners or wire inside the tube and close-up one end with tin foil and tape. Now pour in some rice and secure the other end with more tin foil and tape. That’s it – your kid now has a rain stick they can turn upside down to make lovely rain sounds.
All you have to do is tell your child a basic colour and challenge them to tell you 20 items that are this colour – get them to name 50 items if they are older. You can make it even more difficult by setting a time limit and make them race against one another!
Odd one out
Someone calls out four things but one is the odd one out. Blue, Green, Banana, White. First person to call out the odd item wins that round and gets to choose the next four items.
Put 10 things from around the house on a tray and ask your child to look at them for a few seconds. Then take them away and ask them to call out what they remember. Another way of playing the game is to cover the items, take one thing away and ask your child to spot what is missing. You can put more things out as they get better.
Don’t say YES or NO
One person asks the other a question to which ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ is the obvious answer. For example, ‘Do you live in a house?’ The other person has to answer the question without saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. If they make a mistake and say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ then they lose and get to ask the questions.
If these don't help, check out NALA's website for parents called Help My Kid Learn.ie /www.helpmykidlearn.ie.